On 27 June 2011, The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, officially launched CFFRC during a ceremony at the Royale Chulan Hotel, in Kuala Lumpur, on the occasion of the Second International Symposium on Underutilised Plant Species. CFFRC is a new research center located in Semenyih, adjacent to the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, about a 45 minute drive south of Kuala Lumpur. Established as a company limited by guarantee and without shareholders under Malaysian law, the new centre, which is exclusively dedicated to research and development of neglected and underutilised plant species, is the largest of its kind. It represents an investment by the Government of Malaysia to the tune of some US$ 40 million covering the construction of the centre and its operation for the first 7 years, after which the centre should become self-sustaining.
Is the new CFFRC a competitor for CFF? Not at all! Rather, it will operate within the mandate and under the strategic direction of Crops for the Future (CFF) and thus support CFF’s agenda.
CFFRC and CFF are separate legal entities, but will closely coordinate their work. CFF will continue to focus on its role as an information platform and international facilitator, but will be locally strengthened through the brain power and opportunities of a research centre, whose principal mission is to remove the supply and use constraints limiting the role of so many underutilised crops. We are particularly pleased about the intent of CFFRC to place its research in a value chain context, suggesting that demand pull rather than supply push is the way forward.
We congratulate the Government of Malaysia for its vision and commitment to support the diversification of agriculture through greater crop diversity, in Malaysia and beyond.