SUSTLIVES - Alliance Bioversity International - CIAT

This project aims to aims to improve the resilience, health and livelihoods of rural communities living in Burkina Faso and Niger by enhancing greater knowledge and sustainable use of locally important neglected and underutilised species (NUS). 

Project Name (full): SUStaining and improving local crop patrimony in Burkina Faso and Niger for better LIVES and ecosystems 

Start and end date: Start 2021 – End 2024 

Geographic area, countries: Africa, Burkina Faso and Niger 

Funders: European Union 

Project Description

Eating traditional, nutrient-rich species that are often neglected by mainstream agriculture has many potential benefits. Research shows that crops such as cassava, fabirama, hibiscus, moringa and bambara groundnut are nutrient dense and can contain important minerals and vitamins as well as being more adapted to growing in resource poor settings under extreme climate conditions. 

Funded by the European Union and implemented by national and international partners, SUSTLIVES aims to help Burkina Faso and Niger transition toward sustainable and resilient agricultural and food systems particularly in view of predicted climate changes in the region. Main activities include raising awareness of traditional, nutrient rich species and increasing their use in diets and value chains as sources of income, particularly for women and youth. The aim is to build more resilient and adaptable farming and seed systems by exposing farmers to more crop varieties, increasing their first-hand knowledge of different traits (nutrition, taste, drought resistance etc.) and improving their capacity to save and access good quality seeds or planting materials. 

Including these species in local production systems could help meet the dietary needs of local communities in the short term while solving pervasive micronutrient deficiency in the two countries at lower costs than vitamin supplementation. Further, the integration of these crops in local value chains could improve local economies in the long term. 

Key activities:

The Alliance is mainly involved in these core activities: 

  • Identifying important neglected and underutilized species (NUS) that could positively impact environmental protection, climate change adaptation, equity, and nutritional outcomes for local communities
  • Mapping and Community Engagement: Identifying custodian farmers and safeguarding crop heritage
  • Data Collection and analysis
  • Developing value chains for NUS
  • Empowering through education: community engagement and raising awareness of the importance of NUS
  • Collaborative Partnerships with the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and Stakeholder Networks

Other Project members: Andrea Ghione, Abdel Kader Naino Jika, and Gaia Lochetti 


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