Due to the diversity of habitats in Nigeria and the tropical climate, there is great diversity of plant species, including several that have been domesticated. Nigeria’s plants include many species with traditional value as food items, medicines and for various domestic uses and a number of these have been catalogued in various specific areas of the country. Nigeria is also an epicenter for diversity of wild varieties of important crop plants, including cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata), West African rice (Oryza sativa), yams (Dioscorea spp.), Bambara nuts (Vigna subterranea), Kersting’s groundnut (Macrotyloma geocarpum), African yam bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa), and winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonobus). A number of these wild crops and their relatives although more adapted to the environment and climate are being replaced with new varieties/cultivars and are therefore threatened with extinction. Improved cultivars therefore constitute a principal cause of genetic erosion and have been responsible for the extinction of most land races. This makes the lines prone to genetic drift and genetic loss within collections and it leads to isolation from on-going evolutionary processes. Some of the crops going extinct include the native yam, beans, white melon, Chrysrophyllum albidum, Irvingia gradifolia, Balanites spp, Vitellaria paradoxa (shear butter tree), sada, Atili and Borno ex-millet.

The NBSAP has outlined a programme of work to encourage both the ex situ and in farm conservation of the country’s agricultural biodiversity. Seed banks and germplasm collections will be maintained at various sites in the country