Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building (test)

Plant breeding programs in Senegal

Senegal_MapThe Republic of Senegal is a country of West Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Although most of the country lies within the drought-prone Sahel region, with irregular rainfall and generally poor soils, Senegal continues to rely on rain-fed agriculture. Despite a relatively wide variety of agricultural production, the majority of farmers produce for subsistence needs. Millet, rice, corn and sorghum are the primary food crops grown in Senegal.

In Senegal plant breeding activities for crop development are mainly undertaken by bublic institutions like National Research Institutes (NARS) and universities, but there are also some private companies which generally focus their activities in the seed sector.

Research is carried out on oil plants (peanuts, sesame), cereals (rice, millet, sorghum, maize, wheat), vegetables, fruit trees and some forest species. Various research topics are undertaken, like breeding for resistance to stress (especially abiotic stress), increasing yield, and quality improvement.

The main constraint limiting plant breeding activities in Senegal are related to low number of plant breeders and lack of sustainable financial resources. Partnership with institutions in developed countries should be encouraged.

Research and education institutes with activities in plant breeding

Public Institutes


Senegalese Agricultural Researches Institute - Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA)
Website available in French

ISRA is a public Agricultural Research Institute. It was created in 1974 in order to conceive, organize and achieve all the research relative to the rural sector in Senegal. Its mission consists generating knowledge and technologies suited to attaining food safety, to create jobs and income by improving the economic, social, scientific and cultural development of the country.


Department of Plant Biology - Département de Biologie Végétale, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques de l'Université Chekh Anta Diop de Dakar
Website available in French

The Plant Biology Department of the Faculty of Science and Technnology of the University Sheik Anta Diop of Dakar was created in the middle of the 1950s and was first lead by Professor Jacques Miege (from 1956 to 1963), well known Swiss botanist. His legacy is marked by the creation of the Botanical garden of the Faculty of Science and the training of several generations of African researchers.


University of Thies / National Agricultural High School (ENSA)
Website available in French

ENSA is the agronomy Faculty of the University of Thies. Among others, teaching and research activities in plant breeding and biotechnology are undertaken for several crops and using classical and modern technology (DNA technology) in a multidisciplinary team.

Private Institutes


Website available in French

TROPICASEM is a private seed company which initiated activities in Africa since 1985. This company is running research activities to improve varieties of vegetables in West African countries.


Information by Dr. Tala Gueye (2008) - Information based on the Senegal's full report from the PBBC survey. Last revised 30-03-2010, GIPB.