Diffusion and Impacts of Improved Varieties in Africa (DIIVA), 2010-2013

The Diffusion and Impact of Improved Varieties in Africa (DIIVA) project collected data on improved varieties in Africa south of the Sahara. Supported by a US$3 million grant from the Gates Foundation, DIIVA aims to:

  1. describe investments in and uptake of crop genetic improvement in priority country-by-commodity combinations in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)
  2. verify and gain a deeper understanding about the adoption and diffusion of new varieties in a nationally representative setting of selected priority countries and food crops in SSA
  3. acquire more comprehensive insight about the impact of crop improvement on poverty, nutrition, and food security

Varietal release and adoption data on 152 priority crop-by-country combinations (CCCs) representing 20 crops and 30 countries, collected in collaboration with 8 CGIAR Centers and their partner organizations, as well scientific strength of breeding program is now available on the ASTI DIIVA page . Also, data from a parallel project in South Asia - Tracking Improved Varieties in South Asia (TRIVSA) - is available on the ASTI TRIVSA page

For more information:


Basic data on adoption of improved crop varieties should be collected on a regular and systematic basis and made widely available through integrated and easily accessible databases. This was one of the conclusions reached at the IAFP-SPIA meeting in Brasilia in November, 2008. If crop improvement research is considered the major success story, even today, it is essential to update the original Evenson and Gollin study.

Impact Assessment Focal Points (IAFPs) at the CGIAR centers, SPIA members and other participants agreed that investing in surveys of varietal diffusion in several commodities, countries, and regions was necessary to supplement and validate national and sub-national expert opinion that was the basis for the earlier work.

Full text access for the original book edited by Evenson and Gollin is available here as a PDF, thanks to kind permission of the publishers CAB International. (Please note that this is for personal use only and should not be posted to any other websites.)

The project initiation meeting was held in Addis Ababa in January 2010, where agreement was reached on the priority areas for objectives 1 and 2 (summary below). On objective 3, the Project Steering Committee (PSC) for this study received in August 2010, eight concept notes from CGIAR Centers in collaboration with advanced research institutes (ARIs) following a call for proposals. The PSC used evaluations by four peer reviewers to decide which concept notes should go forward to the full proposal stage. There was a mid-term meeting in Bamako (Mali) to assess methods and early results, and a final workshop at Bioversity (Rome, Italy) to present penultimate findings, key results, and plans for publications


  • Summary of the proposal to the Gates Foundation (PDF)
  • Summary from initiation workshop for Objectives 1 and 2 in Addis Ababa, January 2010 (PDF)
  • Objective 3 call for proposals, August 2010 (PDF)
  • First output: Paper presented at ASTI-FARA meetings, December 2011 (PDF)
  • Impact Brief No. 42 with key results on adoption outcomes for 20 crops across 30 countries in SSA (PDF)
  • Synthesis Report on Objectives 1 and 2 of DIIVA (PDF)
  • DIIVA book: Crop Improvement, Adoption and Impact of Improved Varieties in Food Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa, edited by Tom Walker and Jeff Alwang (CABI Publishing) (PDF)