DIIVA stands for Diffusion and Impact of Improved Varieties in Africa, a project that collected data on improved crop varieties in Africa south of the Sahara. The three featured databases on adoption, varietal releases, and the scientific strength of breeding programs, organized around a set of 154 crop-country combinations (across 21 crops and 29 countries). The databases are hosted by the ASTI web site. (www.asti.cgiar.org)
Why is DIIVA relevant?
The steady uptake and turnover of crop varieties is key to supporting increases in food production in Africa and creating a trampoline effect of green agriculture in Africa and supporting increases in food production Yet despite the efforts of agricultural researchers in crop improvement in the region, the current knowledge of the diffusion of improved crop varieties is patchy at best.
The data and analysis generated through the DIIVA project closes this salient knowledge gap. It provides information on the effectiveness of each of crop improvement systems in delivering modern varieties to farmers, and provides insights into means to improve the way that the CGIAR and the African national agricultural research institutions can work together more effectively.
DIIVA and ASTI data interaction
ASTI is expanding its website with other databases related to agricultural R&D in developing countries, such as DIIVA. By hosting the DIIVA website, visitors will be able to link the adoption and release of specific crops and countries with the overall status of agricultural R&D in the near future when ASTI releases its updated dataset for the region (planned for spring 2014). For example, adoption of various maize varieties in Tanzania can be compared with the country’s allocation of research resources to maize.
What were the DIIVA findings?
According to the CGIAR, “Output in the form of released varieties is increasing for most crops, but is still characterized by a high level of instability from year to year.” Overall adoption of improved varieties across the countries and crops of Africa south of the Sahara is estimated at 35%, but masking significant variation across crops. This represents steady progress when compared to prior estimates from the early 2000s.
Furthermore, during the discussion of substantive results in the sections on varietal output, adoption, and change, the DIIVA project has also had its share of surprises. For example, “Prominent among these unexpected findings are the increasing demand for maize OPVs in West Africa, the steady productivity record of cassava in the face of well-documented resource scarcity, and the advanced age of cultivars in the expanding soybean crop in Nigeria.”
Who’s responsible for this DIIVA of a database? Led by the CGIAR Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, DIIVA was implemented by scientists from Africa Rice Center, Bioversity International, CIAT, CIMMYT, CIP, ICARDA, ICRISAT and IITA and their partner organizations in each of the 29 countries.
For more information on Impact at the CGIAR, visit : http://impact.cgiar.org