3.5 SITUATION ON SETTING UP EX-SITU CONSERVATION
Burkina Faso has neither centres of genetic resources, nor a
central gene bank. However, it owns a few agencies in charge of the
collection, handling, distribution, medium and long term conservation
and improvement of plant and animal genetic resources. They are: INERA
(in charge conducting and co-ordinating research activities in the
domain of environment and agriculture), the University of Ouagadougou
(conventional institution in charge, among others, of issues related
to nature sciences and rural development), CNSF (National Centre of
Forestry Seeds) in charge of providing to research and development
good quality forestry seeds, CRPAs (whose main object is the promotion
of agriculture and pastoralism in the country's regions).
These structures do not have human and material resources in
quality and quantity to fulfil their mission. For example, the station
of Farakoba now has only one freezer for the conservation of cereal
samples. Another difficulty of these conservation institutions is that
almost all of them function on the basis of projects, which does not
ensure their sustainability.
At the level of documentation, there is no solid and catalogued basic
data. The data are found in the archives of researchers, and today,
the data on vulnerable, threatened or endangered species have not been
collected with precision for some categories of resources, such as
agricultural plants. For this category of plant resources, the status
of collections undertaken is limited to what is presented below.
In this report, mention has been made of the collections of cereal,
leguminous and tuber plants and of a few ligneous species and fodder
plants undertaken in Burkina Faso since1960. Concerning the ex-situ
conservation of agricultural plants, INERA has two air-conditioned
rooms (now out of use), one at the station of Kamboinsé and another
one at the Station of Farako-Bâ. Temperatures vary between 17 and
18°C, and seeds (all species taken together) are preserved there. As
far as ligneous plants are concerned, they are preserved by CNSF in
three different milieux : ambient temperature, one air-conditioned
room and two cold-storage rooms. But in reality, there is no gene bank
with a national vocation, having a well structured team. Each
Programme of INERA manages its own work germplasm according to
improvement objectives, whereas the material preserved at CNSF is
particularly in accordance with demand priorities of species. There is
no clearly defined national Programme.
126.96.36.199 Cereal collections
188.8.131.52.1 Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor)
A first gathering of local forms of the "Guinensia" type
of Sorghum was undertaken by IRAT since 1959 at Saria and later
enlarged with other samples kept at Farako-Bâ and 37 non
"Guinensia" forms collected in 1967 (Le Conte J., 1967).
From the prospecting undertaken by IRAT/CIRAD, INERA now has its
- 247 ecotypes of medium cycle sorghum at Saria (BALMA D., 1985) ;
- 127 ecotypes of long cycle sorghum at Farako-Bâ, from the first
collections of ICRISAT of 1979. At that time 800 local varieties
were gathered from Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal (ICRISAT,
1980). During this period, ICRISAT's Phytogenetic Resources
division received at Hyderabad (India) a collection of 210
ecotypes of sorghum from Burkina Faso (Mengesha M.M. and Prasada
Rao K. E. 1981) ;
- 389 ecotypes of Sorghum were gathered from the regions of the
north, east, and centre of the country by CIRP in 1981 ; this
collection was continued in 1982 with DSA by the gathering of 197
ecotypes from the south-west. In 1984, 1985, 1986, U.O./IDR/CIRP
gathered about 870 forms of cultivated sorghum and about ten
spontaneous forms throughout Burkina Faso.
Evaluation tests were conducted in the field with this material.
Thus, taking into account the ecological conditions of the origins of
samples, most experiments were carried out on sites close to these
conditions. The objectives aimed at by these evaluations usually have
a morphological characterisation based on a certain number of criteria
and the taking into account of some diseases and parasites. Because of
the sparse actions of collection, it cannot be concluded that these
samples are representative of natural diversity, and consequently
could not satisfy the needs of research. In the same way, as
conservation conditions are deplorable, many genetic resources have
already been lost for good.
184.108.40.206.2 Millet (Pennistum americanum)
About 200 local ecotypes of millet have been collected by IRAT
between 1960 and 1986 throughout the country.
ICRISAT gathered a certain number of traditional cultivars between
1977 and 1981 :
- 551 numbers from an ORSTOM/FAO/ICRISAT collection in Burkina
Faso and Niger, were evaluated in 1977;
- 1 112 sampled ears in 108 farms from the Mossi plateau in 1980
- collection of early material (Iniadi) in the south-east of the
country in 1981.
A coverage of the regions of the north, east, centre in 1981 and
south-west in 1982, permitted to gather respectively 211 ecotypes
(with three spontaneous forms) and 76 ecotypes.
New prospecting series throughout the country, have allowed
U.O./IDR/CIRP to gather some 333 ecotypes.
The various results show that Burkina Faso ecotypes display a great
genotypic variability (cycle, length, width and ear shape, seed
colour...), characteristic of the climatic zones roughly corresponding
to the latitude. Therefore, one can distinguish :
- in the north (Sahelian zone), early varieties (cycle of 90 to
100 days), with usually long and thin ears having a cylinder
shape, a roux yellow seed colour (Gaouri Baleri) or light yellow
(Gaouri Daneri). These seeds would be close to the forms of
"Haïni" millet from the west of Niger;
- in the south (south-Sudanese zone), varieties with late cycle
(120-150 days) having short to medium ears (20 to 80 cm). In the
southern and eastern part of this zone (Pô, Diapaga), very early
forms of 90 days (Iniadi Millet), with shorts ears (30 to 30 cm)
having usually conic form and grey seeds are found;
- in the centre (north- Sudanese zone), semi-late varieties (100
to 120 days), with short and thin, spindle-shaped, conic or
cylinder shaped ears (30 to 40 cm). These ears become longer and
longer in the north of the Mossi plateau. The colour of the seed
may be yellow (Kapelga) or grey (Kassabelga). In the western part
of this zone (Nouna), later varieties close to "Sanio"
millets (130 to 150 days) are found.
The size of the ecotypes observed at Gampéla (Centre), presents a
variation of 124 to 386 cm (ZONGO J. D. et al. 1988). In general, in
the south-west the biggest ecotypes are found in the south-west.
The exploitation of the variability of the local ecotypes from the
various prospecting made it possible to provide vulgarisation with
high performance material in population varieties.
As a result of millet allogamy, the conservation of collections
proves to be difficult and is undertaken in lines (live collections),
and medium conservation is released in the same conditions as sorghum.
Some institutes such as IRAT thought about a permanent collection with
farmers in order to preserve variability.
220.127.116.11.3 Maize (Zea mays)
As early as 1962 IRAT gathered a certain number of mainly early
local ecotypes from the west and a population from the centre. It
remains from this prospecting improved varieties including some which
have gone into vulgarisation and others preserved as live collections
(BALMA D., 1985).
The 1981 prospecting (CIRP- DSA), also permitted to gather 8
ecotypes from the north, centre and east of Burkina Faso and 153
ecotypes from the southwest.
All this collection, i.e. 201 ecotypes, was handed over to INERA. The
results from the evaluation of these collections show that :
- Burkina varieties differ in seed colour (yellow, white,
reddish-brown) and the length of their cycle;
- In the centre and east, there is a predominance of ecotypes with
more early yellow seeds;
- In the south-west, there is a mixture of white and yellow
varieties with a good frequency of the dentate white type;
- there is no marked gradient between cycle length and latitude.
The problem of medium and long term conservation on the spot occurs
in the same way as for other cereals because of the limited capacities
18.104.22.168.4 Rice (Oryza sativa, Oryza glaberrima)
A total of 527 samples were collected with a predominance of O.
sativa (90 %) over O. glaberrima (10 %).
The abandonment of glaberrima is general throughout the country and
seems to come from many factors, particularly the length of the cycle,
ginning and the presence of more high performance varieties of sativa.
This prospecting also revealed an uneven distribution of
rice-growing as well as samples (60 % were collected in the southwest)
due undoubtedly to the present distribution of rains in Burkina Faso.
The most popular variety remains the sintane Diofor (cultivated
everywhere). One notices a clear predominance of improved varieties in
the CRPA of Hauts-Bassins and the persistence of the Konsourou and the
series of alkam in the CRPAs of the centre and centre-south.
The prospecting did not permit to collect wild species of the type Oryza
barthii and O. longistaminata because of the drying up of
their site and also the period (from November 1983 to February 1984)
was not favourable for all the regions. A second prospecting would be
necessary. The results from the evaluations, taking into account the
agronomic and morphological characters and the enzymatic polymorphism,
22.214.171.124.1 Prospecting and collections of Cowpeas (Vigna
sinensis or Vigna unguiculata)
Cowpeas prospecting began in 1977 in Burkina Faso with the
collection of about 40 local ecotypes (BALMA, 1985).
In 1981 and 1982, in addition to the prospecting of cereals,
respectively 40 ecotypes in the north and about 90 ecotypes in the
west, were gathered. At the time the Programme had a collection of 161
local ecotypes called KVu (Kamboinsé Vigna unguiculata).
Evaluations and results: 109 entries of this collection were
evaluated in Kamboinsé in 1982 for a few agronomic characteristics at
2 planting dates.
Ecotypes presented the following characteristics:
- 18 usually late and photosensitive entries with big, white and
rough seeds (15-63 g/100 seeds) having a lying growth ;
- 45 non- photosensitive entries with creeping growth, early and 4
small ones (10-11 g/100 seeds);
- a leguminous other than Vigna, from the Kerstingiella geocarpa
species, with a full cycle of 110 days;
- 45 without flowers.
All the material was tested for resistance to aphids, beetles,
Striga, drought and for the production of good quality seeds. A few
varieties having displayed good characteristics are used in crossing
- Ouahigouya local variety resistant to drought crossed with KN-1
- Kaya local variety with a good quality seed crossed with
Gorom-local for resistance to Striga;
- Kaya local variety with a good quality seed crossed with TVu
2027 for resistance to bruches;
- Kamboinsé local variety resistant to Maruca, crossed with TVu
2027 for resistance to beetles.
KVu-2 and KVu 20-2 entries seem to be the best, the local Gorom
variety has gone into vulgarisation for a long time. The varieties
considered to be interesting are kept in live collections and
regenerated every 2 years.
126.96.36.199.2.Bambara groundnuts Prospecting and Collections (Voandzeia
The first prospecting of Bambara groundnuts were undertaken, in
addition to the prospecting of cereals in 1982 and 59 local varieties
were collected (southwest). In order to start the Programme, 67
introductions from Mali (22), Nigeria (33), Senegal (2) and
IITA/Ibadan (10) were also carried out. A total of 45 entries
including a local and exotic material was evaluated for a few
Diseases attacked most of the entries. After evaluations, the
selection Programme conducted a certain number of yield tests, which
are still going on now.
Bambara groundnut collection (KVs = Kamboinsé Voandzou
subterranea) is kept in live collections and renewed every two
Five crops: yam, sweet potato, cassava, araceae (Taro and Macabo)
and Souchet (seasoning plant) have been prospected. The evaluations
dealt with an important number of morphological characters taking into
account the vegetative apparatus and the tuber.
188.8.131.52.1. Yams (Dioscorea spp.)
In each prospected region 10 samples have been collected per
cultivar, i.e. about 300 samples of cultivated yam. Local names were
given to these cultivars, wild yams were only numbered. Because of the
overlap of some samples, the number of cultivars has been reduced to
Recorded cultivated varieties come from 4 species: Dioscorea
cayenensis (80 %); Dioscorea alata; Dioscorea bulbifera;
There are 3 groups at the level of wild yams: Diocorea
togoyensis, D. dumenterum , D. Abyssinica.
184.108.40.206.2. Sweet potato (Ipomaea batatas)
Collected samples produced 6 clones distributed as follows: 2
clones with white-light white skin, 2 clones with red-light white
skin, 1 clone with yellow skin and 1 clone with white-light yellow
220.127.116.11.3. Cassava (Manihot esculenta)
Two clones have been identified, one with a red skin and another
with a white skin.
18.104.22.168.4 Taro (Colocasia esculentus)
Only one variety of taro was prospected.
22.214.171.124.5. Macabo (Xanthosoma sagittifolium)
Samples resulted in a rain-fed variety and an aquatic variety.
126.96.36.199.6. Souchet or sugered peas (Cyperus esculentus)
Two varieties were recorded, one with a black skin and another with
a yellow skin.
188.8.131.52 Fodder collections
A prospecting was undertaken in 1984 in the north of Burkina (ABOU
F. et FOURNIER A., 1984) and permitted to collect 40 taxons including
: 23 annual Gramineae, 9 perennial Gramineae, 3 annual Papilionaceae,
3 perennial Papilionaceae and 2 perennial Cyperaceae.
The samplings concerned 148 seeds (grains) and 106 vegetative
An initial evaluation of the production potential of the collected
ecotypes was made in 1986. The following results of 24 ecotypes were
- the local green matter varies from 0.130 T.M.S./ha (for Chloris
pilosa ) to 18.7250 T.M.S./ha (for Pennisetum pedicellatum);
- the total dry matter varies from 0.047 (same species) to 5.805
(same species) T.M.S./ha ;
- Panicum laetum and Echinochloa sp. Bearing up to 4
184.108.40.206 Ligneous collections
Vulnerable, threatened, endangered or particularly economically
important species now benefit from sustained attention. Thus, the
seeds of 67 species have been collected by CNSF. Among them the
following local species categorised below are concerned by this
- threatened species: Acacia senegal, Dalbergia
melanoxylon, Pterocarpus lucens;
- vulnerable species: Adansonia digitata, Anogeissus
leiocarpus, Bombax costatum, Ceiba pentandra, Khaya
senegalensis, Parkia biglobosa, Prosopis africana,
Acacia nilotica, Acacia raddiana, Acacia seyal,
Acacia senegal, Acacia sieberiana, Tamarindus
indica, Sclerocarya birrea and Daniellia oliveri.
Efforts are also being made in order to be able to have seed
collections of endangered species, such as Celtis integrifolia
and nium obesum (jackal baobab). An ex-situ conservation policy
in favour of other important or endangered species is making its way
In this way, CNSF, the agency in charge of the supply of good
quality seeds to producers and researchers undertook a study aiming at
determining the conservation capacity of utilitarian species, in order
to make them available as much as possible. The species concerned are:
Acacia albida, A. gourmaensis, A. nilotica
variety adansonii., A.. nilotica variety tomentosa.,
A. senegal, Balanites aegyptiaca, Bauhinia rufescens,
Ceiba pentandra, Gmelina arborea, Jatropha curcas,
Khaya senegalensis, Parkia biglobosa, Parkinsonia
aculeata, Prosopis juliflora, Pterocarpus erinaceus,
Pterocarpus lucens, Tamarindus indica and Ziziphus
As far as Parkia biglobosa is concerned, a collection from 96
sources including each 25 to 30 separate descents was undertaken in
the distribution area of the species in West Africa. In addition,
INERA, through the former IRBET owns herbarium collections of which
the first are from the fifties, as well as an arboretum. Other
collections of the same kind of herbariums were undertaken by
specialised institutions for specific needs; this is the case of the
Institut du Développement Rural of UO and CNSF.
220.127.116.11 Entomological collections
With regard to the important position of insects in the life of
humans, they also benefited from a certain attention. In effect, many
species of insects are useful whereas others are harmful. Thus, many
institutions whose activities deal with insects realised specific
collections. The main structures of this kind are found in the cities
of Bobo-Dioulasso and Ouagadougou and listed below.
a) In Bobo-Dioulasso:
- MURAZ Centre, Bobo-Dioulasso;
- INERA research centre of Farakoba and its attached services :
- Cotton Programme,
- Plant Protection Service,
- Plant Protection Laboratory;
b) In Ouagadougou:
- the ONCHOCERCOSIS PROGRAMME;
- IRBET now INERA Forestry Production Department;
- The French Institute for Scientific Research and Cooperation
Development commonly know as "ORSTOM";
- C.N S.F.;
- the Laboratory of Applied Entomology of the University of
- the Laboratory of Natural History of CNRST;
- the entomological collection of the INERA Station of Saria.
18.104.22.168 Collections of vertebrates
As far as vertebrates are concerned, few collections have been
undertaken. Only the Laboratory of Natural History of CNRST has a
collection of domestic and wild fauna containing some 6 000 samples of
snakes, and an important collection of fishes.