The field bank of the Genetic Resources Center is located at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA Headquarters in Ibadan. Here clonally propagated crops are conserved comprising of cassava, yam and the musa species. For safety backup purpose amongst other reasons, a number of accessions of these different crops are also conserved in the in vitro bank.
There are over 3000 accessions of cassava conserved in the field bank and these are regenerated every two years. There is a large wild cassava relatives’ field which has been serving as the bedrock for some of the breeding activities of cassava breeders in IITA. In the yam field, over 5000 accessions are being conserved as well and these are regenerated once every year. Harvested yam tubers are stored briefly at GRC yam barn before they are transferred to the cold store where they are maintained till another planting time for the new season. There is an ex situ conservation of some wild yam relatives and these largely were brought in from the in situ conservation in IITA campus.
The different ecological zones from which these accessions were sourced is one of the factors that necessitated the use of outstations for those that perform poorly at IITA Ibadan station. A careful selection of an outstation that offers an environment that comes close to the conditions found in the places of origin of these accessions serves the good purposes of repository and pre-breeding research activities.
In the musa field of GRC, there are about 400 accessions that have been conserved. No conservation is done in any outstation for the collections in the musa field bank yet but as in the case of other clonally propagated crops in the field bank, there is safety backup for some of the accessions in the in vitro bank already.