National Agriculture Research Institute(s)

Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA)


Sorghum, pearl millet and cowpea



Affiliated Countries

Burkina Faso and Niger


Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA)

Burkina Faso

Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA)


Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN)

A regionally coordinated approach to the development and dissemination of crop innovations that are key to smallholder farmers and rural populations of West Africa

Changing demographics, climate change and environmental conditions are serious threats to smallholder agriculture in West Africa. The Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA) in Senegal, Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA) in Burkina Faso and the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN) in Niger bring their expertise together to form CIWA and accelerate the development of climate smart varieties of sorghum, pearl millet and cowpea. Their coordinated efforts will deliver productivity gains in the target crops that will underpin food and nutrition security, resilience and economic growth in West Africa.

Recognizing that sorghum, pearl millet and cowpea have historically been under-resourced at the national program level, CIWA is in a unique position to make progress at multiple levels with farmers and consumers, value chains and regional advancement in research, economic growth, job creation and gender equity.

CIWA’s efforts in crop improvement will lead to enhanced food and nutrition security across the rural populations of West Africa through improved agricultural productivity and overall economic development with a unique commitment to gender and social inclusion. Following a demand-led breeding approach, CIWA will use innovative breeding techniques and genomic tools to increase rates of genetic gain and advance the release of market-ready varieties of sorghum, pearl millet and cowpea.

The vision CIWA is to play a pivotal role in transforming crop improvement in West Africa to underpin food and nutritional security.

Ndjido KanePrincipal Scientist and Plant Geneticist, Molecular Biologist and Director, CERAAS

Photos from the field

Recent highlights

August 8, 2022

New initiative applies genome breakthroughs, machine learning for sorghum breeding

A new project seeks to improve sorghum breeding by combining the best aspects of two powerful software applications, applying cutting-edge genomic research to agriculture and building partnerships between scientists in…
January 20, 2022

New initiative catalyzes sustainable seed systems from Caribbean to the Atlantic

A new initiative will catalyze seed systems development in Haiti and Senegal and sustainably deliver agricultural research outputs to farmers at-scale. The ILCI-Caribbean-Atlantic Seed Systems Initiative (CASSi) — led by…
CIWAProject updates
November 17, 2021

Seed systems sustainability in West Africa: For producers, by producers

For national breeding programs to successfully develop new crop varieties, plant breeders must involve numerous and diverse stakeholders. This process, while essential, often leads to silos in discussion. Finding innovative…

Project leaders

Dr Ndjido Ardo Kane

Principal Investigator

Marème Niang Belko

Co-Principal Investigator

Project partners

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