West Africa Virus Epidemiology Project


The West Africa Virus Epidemiology (WAVE) project is working to address the virus threats to cassava, yams and sweet potato in West Africa. Root crops such as these are the preferred carbohydrate food for more than 800 million people in Africa and viral threats to these crops could lead to unprecedented food shortage and famine if left unchecked. WAVE aims to understand and predict root crop virus emergence and evolution in West Africa using modern environmental and disease monitoring systems. This will help to reduce the impact of these viruses on smallholder farmers and improve food security across the region.


The project focuses on the following objectives:

  1. To improve understanding of virus threats to roots and tuber crops
  2. To increase use of virus epidemiological models among stakeholders in participating countries
  3. To establish national and regional capacities to respond to virus threats
  1. To increase demand and availability of clean planting materials
  2. To ensure West and Central African breeders are using accurate information for identification and deployment of resistant/tolerant root and tuber crops
  • Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny (UFHB)
  • Cambridge University
  • Covenant University
  • CSIR – Crop Research Institute (CSIR – CRI)
  • Institut de l’Environnement et Recherches Agricoles (INERA)
  • Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero (KSUSTA)
  • National Root Crop Research Institute of Nigeria (NRCRI)
  • Pennsylvania State University, Roossinck Laboratory
  • Rothamsted Institute
  • Université d’Abomey-Calavi
  • Université de Lomé
  • University of Yangambi

Dr Justin Pita

Project dates:
Cassava, sweet potato, yam 
Project focus location(s):

Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo