Fakara Plants

Welcome to the latest version of the FAKARA PLANTS : A database of the plants of the Sahel

This website presents a collection of photographs and descriptions of a total of 137 plant species frequently found in the Sahel (the transitional zone between the Sahara Desert and savanna). It forms a part of the research program, "Improvement of Fertility of Sandy Soils in the Semi-Arid Zone of West Africa through Organic Matter Management", being undertaken by the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), in collaboration with Kyoto University, the University of Tokyo, and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) -Niamey, and Institut National de Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN) since 2003. This visual guide is one of the outputs of the research study, and intends to facilitate communication about these plants among people involved in the research and management of the Sahelian ecosystems.

     Most of the photographs (if not indicated) were taken in the Fakara District of Niger, about 80 km east of Niamey, where the research station of the project is located. We picked up common plants from cultivated lands, gardens, roadsides, grazed rangelands and "tiger bush" vegetation, all under the strong influence of human activities. In this version, we included major and minor crops with some photographs taken in the local market to show the familiar, utilized parts or forms of plants. Plants were first identified with reference to the Second Edition of the “Flora of West Tropical Africa” (1954-1972), and the recent excellent book by M. Arbonnier, titled “Arbres, arbustes et lianes des zones seches d'Afrique de l'Ouest” (CIRAD-MNHN, 2002), and the later revision of scientific names were checked as far as possible. Information on the local uses and Zarma names of plants are based on our survey in villages in the Fakara Disrtrict. We did not try to standardize the spelling recorded according to either English or French conventions.

Species Name Index Family Name Index

     This latest version still requires a lot of improvement. We would sincerely appreciate any advice and information, especially about the accuracy of plant names and usages. Please send them to us via this form.

Copyright and Liability Disclaimer

     The copyright to all materials in this database belongs to the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS). You may ONLY link to this page, NOT to any other specific pages or images in this database. JIRCAS, the authors and their affiliated organizations do not give any guarantee or warranty of the accuracy of the information contained herein. This site is not intended to give a guide for actual use of plants for food, medicine etc.

  • Satoshi Tobita (Compilation, photographs, agricultural information)
  • Reiichi Miura (Botanical accounts and photographs)
  • Yuko Sasaki (Zarma names of plants and indigenous knowledge)
  • Sodja Amadou (Local guidance and indigenous knowledge)
  • Keiichi Hayashi (Ethnopedological information)
  • Ueru Tanaka (Ethnobotanical information)
  • Hitoshi Shinjo (Geological information)
  • Norie Yokoyama (Ecophysiological information)
  • Kaori Akama (Website construction)

     Our greatest thanks are due to all the people in Fakara who provided us with their knowledge and experience.

Uploaded Nov. 17, 2005
Last modified Mar. 19, 2009