Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building

Plant breeding programs in Gabon

Geographical situation of GabonSituated in the centre of the Gulf of Guinea, Gabon has an equatorial climate. It is not an agricultural country. Its economy is essentially based on oil which accounts for 48% of GDP. The remainder is dominated by forestry (forest covers 85% of the country's total area) and mining. Agricultural contribution to the creation of wealth remains marginal (about 4%). Crops grown are mainly food crops such as bananas, cassava, sweet potatoes, groundnuts, maize and vegetables, and serve for subsistence, with a very small share traded.

There are two institutions carrying out plant breeding activities in Gabon. Both of them are public but they are under two different ministries. While CIAM is under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development, LBV is under the Ministry of Education.

CIAM mainly practices line creation and evaluation. LBV focuses more on plant biotechnology and germplasm improvement. Maize, vegetables and fruits represent the major crops for both of them. 80% of LBV’s budget is dedicated to the plantain.

The majority of breeders of CIAM will retire in a few years, so replacement should be ensured. Nevertheless, Gabon lacks training institutes to supply breeders. The CIAM and the LBV also expect the support of the international community for the exchange of germplasm and on the design and funding of research projects.

Research and education institutes with activities in plant breeding

Public Institutes



Plant Biotechnology Laboratory of the Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Research – Laboratoire de biotechnologie végétale (LBV) de l’Institut de Recherches Agronomiques et Forestières (IRAF)
Website available in French

Within the Department of Agronomy General for IRAF there are two laboratories: the Soil Laboratory (SL) and the Plant Biotechnology Laboratory (LBV). The LBV was established in 2002 under the Ministry of Education. Its main missions are: the development of biotechnology in Gabon through training and the achievement of scientific programmes; the ex-situ conservation of plant heritage; the production of planting material and breeding.

no website

Crop Material Introduction, Adaptation and Multiplication Center – Centre d’introduction, d’adaptation et de multiplication du matériel végétal (CIAM)

CIAM was created in 1975 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development in the framework of the project PNUD/FAO/GAB/75/003 to support the development of food crops. Its main objective is to offer farmers plant material and seeds of high productivity, adapted to the agro-climatic environmental conditions of Gabon. The CIAM has set up three breeding programmes and a programme of applied physiology in which there is a plant biotechnology component.


Information by Romuali Gabin EDOU NGUEMA, Claire NZANG OYONO and Paul OBIANG ANGWE (2008) - Information based on the Gabon's full report from the PBBC survey. Last revised 31-07-2009, GIPB