ICRISAT Regional Genebank: Conserving and maintaining germplasm for today and future generation

ICRISAT-Niger Genebank is a regional genebank established by ICRISAT in 1991 to serve the National Agricultural Research System in West and Central Africa (WCA) region by facilitating easy access to germplasm diversity and conservation of their collections as duplicates. The use of plants genetic diversity is essential for ensuring an adequate and stable supply of diverse food crops as well as for enhancing their nutritional quality.

The ICRISAT-Niger Regional Genebank aims to:

  1. Preserve (ex-situ) germplasms collected in West and Central Africa (WCA) and from other Genebanks.

  2. Assemble and conserve under medium-term conditions duplicates of existing materials from NARS in WCA

  3. Disseminate healthy germplasms and improved varieties

  4. Participate in the establishment of seed programs and seed industry in WCA

  5. Support training of NARS, students and other seed value chain actors

  6. Enhance germplasm utilization by research institutions, private companies and individual farmers.

The Regional genebank is currently (November 2017) conserving 43,927 accessions of 25 species, among of which 13,472 accessions of 4 ICRISAT’s Mandate crops as follow: Sorghum (3,388), Pearl millet (4,035), Pigeonpea (205) and Groundnut (5,844). A total of 42,943 accessions originated from 13 African countries. Other crops conserved are cowpea, rice, wheat, maize, sesame, Okra, Onion, Bambara Groundnut, etc.

The active collection of germplasm is stored at 2°C while the base collection is maintained at -20°C in vacuum packed aluminium foil pouches. The short term storage room (16°C, 30% RH) have a capacity of conserving 6300 accessions, while the the medium term storage room (2°C) has a capacity of 30,000 accessions and the long term storage (- 20°C) capacity is 100,000 accessions. From 2014 to 2016, 9127 accessions (Pearl millet, Sorghum, Groundnut and Pigeonpea) were distributed, including 7127 accessions (of which 982 accessions to farmers) to African countries.

Hamidou Falalou

Hamidou Falalou, Ph.D

Crop Physiologist,
     Genebank Manager

Mandate crops

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