Plant Resources of Tropical Africa PROTA

in french and english

  • The Vision: People in Africa make the best utilization and conservation choices for improved livelihoods and sustainable management of plant resources.
  • The Mission: Developing and maintaining a user-oriented plant resource information system and widely disseminating and promoting its use through key strategic actions and partnerships. (Vision/Mission).

Frontpage; english Homepage; Sitemap;
Plant of the week Archive; ProtaBase; Strategy; How; Forum; Research Gaps;
News; Publications; Impact Stories; Gallery; Organization; Network; Get involved; Partners; Links;
Contacts: see PROTA Offices, but links work only on the Sitemap.

History: Background: In tropical Africa there are over 7000 plant species that are used for food, medicine, forage, fuel, clothing, and construction among other uses. 

However, exploitation of Africa’s plant resources for poverty alleviation, empowerment of women, health improvement and environmental sustainability as reflected in the UN Millennium Development Goals is highly underdeveloped. A major factor contributing to under-exploitation is a lack of readily available and consolidated information for policy and decision makers in government, private sector, research, education and rural development, and also the millions of people who directly depend on plant resources for their livelihoods.
A comprehensive overview of the state of knowledge on Africa’s useful plants allows for timely identification, conservation and sustainable use of promising species for food security, income generation, medicine development, bio-fuel production, environmental protection and adaptation to climate change.

The History:

An initiative of Wageningen University, PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) took off at the beginning January 2000. It has since grown into a partnership of 11 institutions (7 in Africa, 3 in Europe and 1 in South-East Asia) that undertakes the complex task of information gathering, knowledge synthesis, dissemination and utilization on about 7,000 useful plants of tropical Africa. PROTA is registered as a not-for-profit Foundation in the Netherlands and as an international NGO in Kenya

The implementation:

PROTA is a 15-year program implemented over the following phases:

  • Preparatory Phase 2000–2003
  • First Implementation Phase 2003–2007
  • Second Implementation Phase 2008–2012
  • Final Implementation Phase 2013–2015

The main objective of the First Implementation Phase (2003-2007) was to complete 50% of the information system (review 3,500 species in 8 Commodity groups in 10 handbook volumes). The first phase also aimed at disseminating the synthesised information in three main forms (handbooks, CD-Roms, and web database) to relevant stakeholders … (full text).

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