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Changing lifestyles and the increasing globalisation of trade have tended to favour only a few major crops and these have come to dominate agricultural production, processing and commerce, nationally and internationally. The demands for research – and hence funding – have inevitably concentrated on these same commodities. As a result, not only have a number of food species fallen into disuse, to be replaced by the major crops and the products derived from them, but also many other species are similarly affected such as those that can contribute fibre, medicine, fodder, or construction material. However, these neglected and underused plant species are part of a rich economic, social and cultural diversity. Many have the potential to play a much more important role than they do today in sustaining livelihoods and human wellbeing and in enhancing ecosystem health and stability. In addition, agrobiodiversity helps to keep options open for adaptation to, and mitigation of, climate changes.
Crops for the Future (CFF) is an organisation dedicated to the development of neglected and underutilised plant species. In particular, CFF seeks to:
- Promote greater consumption and production of neglected and underutilised crops.
- Increase income for agricultural producers and processors.
- Enhance nutrition through dietary diversity.
CFF has these major strategic objectives:
- Facilitate access to knowledge on neglected species.
- Provide information services to our stakeholders (grant and training opportunities, library resources, Internet opportunities).
- Identify and advocate policies that promote neglected species rather than discriminate against their use.
- Increase awareness on the potential and contributions of neglected species for livelihoods and well-being.
- Strengthen capacity amongst our stakeholders, in particular researchers.