The recent “2nd International Symposium on Underutilized Plant Species: Crops for the Future – Beyond Food Security” which was held from the 27th June to 1st July 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has left its participants intellectually stimulated, challenged and inspired by the exchange of diverse ideas expressed at the symposium of how to best use underutilized crops.
The central theme of this symposium emphasised the potential role of neglected and underutilised plant species (NUS) to contribute to global food security and nutrition, provide a buffer against the consequences of climate change and enhance agricultural biodiversity. The symposium’s goal was to engage all participants to share and discuss strategies that aim to maximise knowledge acquisition, minimise duplication of efforts and identify priority areas for further research and development.
The symposium also included the launch of Crops for the Future Research Centre (CFFRC) by The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak. CFFRC is a new research centre located adjacent to the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, dedicated to research and development of NUS. The generous US$ 40 million pledge by the Malaysian Government for building and operating CFFRC over the next 7 years is proof of Malaysia’s vision and commitment to support the diversification of agriculture through greater crop diversity.
Here is a window to the summarized key innovative ideas that have been discussed and exchanged. It also features the great time we have had and the new networks we have established for future collaborations. We are sorry if you were unable to make it this time, but we sure hope to see you at the next symposium to be held again in 2015.
Until then, ciao…
Bakhtiar Affendi, Kwek Mei Jiun, Khoo Teng Kew from CFF and Stefano Padulosi from Bioversity International contributed to this post and linked content.