Fighting Lethal Yellowing Disease for Coconut Farmers (CIFSRF Phase 2)

Yellowing disease continues to threaten coconut crops and farmers' incomes in Côte d'Ivoire. This research project will offer research and policy recommendations to deal with the problem.

Coconut crops critical to livelihoods

In Côte d'Ivoire, coconut is cultivated on approximately 50,000 hectares (1 hectare to 5 farmers). Farmers produce approximately 45,000 tons of copra per year. Copra is the dried kernel of the coconut, which is used to extract coconut oil.

Coconut is the main income source for the coastal region's poor farmers. Over the past 10 years, Côte d'Ivoire lethal yellowing disease has destroyed more than 350 hectares of coconut and caused losses of 12,000 tons of copra per year. The disease has negatively affected farmers' income and family nutrition in the coastal regions, and is threatening to reach Ghana's coconut plantations. It is becoming a global problem.

Understanding lethal yellowing disease

The project will:

  • map the geographic extent of the disease;
  • identify distinct local vectors and secondary plant hosts;
  • characterize and compare local strains with African and Caribbean strains of the disease; and
  • develop effective, practical disease management strategies.

The project team will make evidence-based policy recommendations to inform replanting, breeding, and disease prevention policies at the national and regional levels.

The project will build local research capacity for:

  • diagnostic tests
  • field and lab-based disease detection techniques
  • quarantine surveillance capabilities

Locals will learn to authenticate adapted resistant or tolerant coconut cultivars for replanting, breeding, and certification programs. The project team will develop and test science-based practices to allow women and men farmers to effectively manage the disease.

The project will be implemented by a public-private research partnership led by the Marc Delorme Research Station - National Centre for Agronomic Research, the Université Nangui Abrogoua in Côte d'Ivoire, and Sporometrics in Canada.

View all related project outputs in the IDRC Digital Library.

Projet nᵒ


État du projet


Date de début

Mardi, mai 20, 2014


30 mois

Agent(e) responsable du CRDI

Innocent Butare

Financement total

CAD$ 2,570,000


Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Canada, Nord du Sahara, Sud du Sahara, Antilles


Canadian International Food Security Research Fund

Chargé(e) de projet

Yaima Arocha Rosete



Institution Country


Institution Website

Chargé(e) de projet

Prof KONAN Konan Jean Louis

Chargé(e) de projet

Hugues Nianzou


Centre national de recherche agronomique

Institution Country

Ivory Coast

Institution Website

Chargé(e) de projet

Hortense Diallo


Université Nangui Abrogoua

Institution Country

Ivory Coast