Our work on neglected and underutilized species centers around six themes that are highly inter-related. Value chain development aims to leverage the nutritional and sustainability benefits of target species, including their hardiness to environmental stress, and is meant to contribute to the conservation of the species by providing incentive to farmers to continue and upscale their cultivation. Capacity building underpins all aspects of our work, including training and policy advocacy to enable conservation, research and development of target species. Currently we have two major projects on neglected and underutilized species but over the past 40 years at Bioversity International we have carried out numerous research projects on this topic. Information on our research themes, current projects and some of our past projects is available below.
Our holistic approach bridges conservation and use and leverages nutrition and sustainability benefits.
We are investigating the role of stress-tolerant crops and on-farm conservation for climate change adaptation.
We are developing methods to support on-farm conservation of underutilized species (e.g. diversity fairs and community seed banks).
Many underutilized species are packed with nutrients or have nutraceutical values that can benefit rural producer communities, as well as urban and global consumers
Often managed by women and indigenous communities, promotion of NUS can bring income, nutrition and resilience benefits to marginalized peoples
Strengthening capacities and informing policies for developing value chains of neglected and underutilized crops in Africa (2014-present).
Linking agrobiodiversity value chains, climate adaptation and nutrition: Empowering the poor to manage risk (2015-present)