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MSB partnership in West Africa (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali)

The MSB partnership seeks to collect, conserve and sustainably use seeds of wild species of West Africa, including Burkina Faso, Ghana and Mali.

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M Sacande, RBG Kew

View of the Sahel precious natural resources from Timbuktu, Mali (Image: M Sacande, RBG Kew)

The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership activities over the period 2006-2011 have greatly developed and increased in impact, making a great difference both in partner institutions and to the rural communities in West Africa. Partner countries involved in these programmes have collected and safely banked seeds of their flora and duplicated them at the MSB, contributing in December 2009, to the target of banking seed of 10% of the world flowering plants. Of particular interest, there were two successful joint collecting expeditions, one along the River Niger in Mali through to the North of Burkina Faso in 2007, and the other one to Timbuktu, for the first time in 2008. During both expeditions, valuable and unparalleled amount of seed was collected. At the Centre National de Semences Forestières, in Burkina Faso, there are now more than 1000 Burkinabe species securely banked (over 60% of the country’s flowering wild plants) and duplicated at MSB. Furthermore, Mali has now a fully fledged programme in the MSB partnership and the Centre Régional de Recherche Agronomique in Sikasso, is now an established seed research facility in the country. The herbarium specimens of the Unité Semences Forestières have increased to allow IER to be registered as an internationally recognised herbarium in Mali. The seed bank in Mali has stored nearly 800 species (40% of the country’s flora). The development of research activities has also been important to the MSB partnership. Several socio-economically important species have been investigated for their seed handling, germination and conservation requirements. These investigations have been translated into three formal PhD training opportunities, in collaboration with the Universities of Ouagadougou, Gembloux and Ghent in Belgium.

Use of MSB collections - One use of the scientific knowledge generated from the MSB seed collections is to solve impediments in wild plant propagation. Recently, the MSB has used its expertise in seed handling and germination to support useful plant and local tree propagation and planting schemes by the provision of advice and training. During 2010 nearly 62,000 seedling of 203 tree species were produced and over 90% were planted out in land belonging to local communities or NGOs, in village woodlands, sacred forests and home gardens. Some schemes resulted in certain tree species being cultivated for the first time. We aim to continue and scale up these activities with the West African partners in Burkina, Ghana and Mali.

Key papers published since 2006

  • Asomaning J. M., Olympio N. S., Sacande M. 2011. Desiccation Sensitivity and Germination of Recalcitrant Garcinia kola Heckel seeds. Research Journal of Seed Science Vol. 4: 15-27.
  • Belem B., Sanou P. 2009. Plantes médicinales utilisées pour le soin des enfants dans la ville de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Afrique de l’Ouest. In Flamboyant, n°65*
  • Neya O., Hoekstra F.A., and Golovina E.A. 2008. Mechanism of endocarp-imposed constraints of germination of Lannea microcarpa seeds. Seed Science Research 18. Pp 13-24.
  • Sacande M., Sina S., Oubida R.W. 2010. Long term conservation and germination of stored Parkia biglobosa seeds. Seed Science and Technology 38: 158-169.
  • Sina S. 2006. Réproduction et diversité génétique chez Parkia biglobosa (Jacq.) G.Don, PhD thesis, Wageningen University, ISBN 90-8504-361-1. 102p.

Project partners and collaborators

Burkina Faso

The Centre National de Semences Forestières (CNSF)

University of Ouagadougou

Ghana

The Forest Research Institute Ghana (FORIG)

Community groups from the East, West and Kumasi regions

Mali

Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER) Regional Centre in Sikasso

Cantonnement Forestier de Sikasso

Communities of Sikasso region

Annex material

Popular Articles

  • RBG Kew 2008. Guide de Collection Mali II (2008). MSB/RBG Kew production.
  • RBG Kew 2008. Guide de Collection Burkina II (2008). MSB/RBG Kew production.
  • RBG Kew 2007. Guide de Collection Burkina Faso et Mali (2007). MSB/RBG Kew production.
  • RBG Kew 2007. MSB Burkina Faso and Mali Appeal. Friends and Foundation. RBG Kew, 12 pp.
  • Sanogo S., Sanogo A. K. et Yossi H., 2009 : Collecte, germination et conservation durable de graines et d'échantillons de plantes. Rapport de la campagne de recherche 2008/2009, présenté à la 15ème session du Comité de Programme de l'IER, (Mali), 26p.
  • Sanogo S., Sanogo A. K. et Yossi H., 2008 : Collecte, germination et conservation durable de graines et d'échantillons de plantes. Rapport de la campagne de recherche 2007/2008, présenté à la 14ème session de la Commission Scientifique du Comité National de la Recherche Agronomique (CNRA) du Mali, 31p.
  • Sanogo S., Sanogo A. K. et Yossi H., 2007 : Collecte, germination et conservation durable de graines et d'échantillons de plantes. Rapport de la campagne de recherche 2006/2007, présenté à la 13ème session de la Commission Scientifique du Comité National de la Recherche Agronomique (CNRA) du Mali, 26p.