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15 April 2013 Add Comments
Proceedings of the “2nd International Symposium on Underutilised Plant Species: Crops for the Future – Beyond Food Security”

Proceedings of the “2nd International Symposium on Underutilised Plant Species: Crops for the Future – Beyond Food Security”

We are pleased to announce that the proceedings of the “2nd International Symposium on Underutilised Plant Species: Crops for the Future – Beyond Food Security” has been published by Acta Horticulturae publication of International Society for Horticultural Sciences (ISHS) on 31 March 2013.

The symposium was held on 27 June-01 July 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was organised by Crops for the Future Research Centre, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus under the auspices of ISHS. The event was co-convened and supported by Crops for the Future, Bioversity International, the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Boustead Holdings Berhad, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Kirkhouse Trust, British Council and Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa.

The follow-up to this symposium is the coming “3rd International Conference on Neglected and Underutilized Species (NUS)” that will take place on 23-25 September 2013, in Accra, Ghana. Please visit the official conference website for more information. Interested participants are encouraged to sign up for the conference newsletter to receive updates on the development of this conference.


Archived postings of the symposium in the past:



24 December 2012 4 Comments

AVRDC is inviting researchers and extentionists to sign up for this training course on technical and managerial skills from vegetable breeding to marketing. There will be three modules to be carried out at different dates from 16 September to 6 December 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Download the event brochure for more details on each training module.

29 July 2009 Add Comments

A Global Plant Council has been formed as part of an historic and groundbreaking summit of major plant science societies from around the world. Twenty one scientists representing 13 plant science societies gathered in Honolulu July 15–16 at a summit organized by the American Society of Plant Biologists ASPB to explore ways in which plant scientists can come together to address global concerns such as world hunger, energy, climate change, health and well-being, sustainability, and environmental protection. The mission of the Global Plant Council will be to define and engage in coordinated strategies to address these critical issues and to increase awareness of the central role of plant science in their resolution. The shared vision and unified effort of plant scientists from all regions of the world will enable the most effective use of knowledge and resources to tackle the major challenges confronting all nations in the 21st century.

As stated by Dr. Kasem Zaki Ahmed, president of the African Crop Science Society, “The world relies on ten major crops to provide 95% of the food consumed by humans and farm animals. To address the problems facing Africa we must improve existing crops and develop new ones that have higher yields and greater resistance to pests, pathogens, drought, and other environmental stresses.”

Plant biology–and thus plant science research–is central to other global challenges as well. European scientist Dr. Wilhelm Gruissem (president of the European Plant Science Organisation) noted, “We must address the key issues of biodiversity in natural and managed environments”. Dr. Zhihong Xu, president of the Chinese Society of Plant Physiologists noted, “We need to increase the search for and investment in the discovery and development of new and existing bioactive compounds and medicines from a diversity of plant species.”

The newly formed Global Plant Council will move forward to create partnerships and collaborations that tackle and solve what we all recognize as critical and immediate problems for our planet.

“The Global Plant Council is the first step that plant scientists across the globe have taken to speak with one voice on the pressing challenges that face humankind,” said Mel Oliver, summit moderator.

For more information visit ASPB

03 June 2009 Add Comments

The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources / University of Hawai’i at Manoa provides a comprehensive online library of its publications. We specially would like to point our users to the sections

15 April 2009 Add Comments

The ACACIAGUM project provides a unique north-south collaboration where relevant expertise and resources are being availed for addressing problems of food security and livelihood faced by developing countries. The European and African partners in a more or less balanced way are sharing the various work packages and tasks. There is thus a strong complementarity between research teams from the two regions resulting in high quality multi-disciplinary research approach.

  • Various innovative approaches are going to be implemented:
  • Innovative approaches to the study of water-use and photosynthate allocation within trees are particularly apt for this study of an exsudate-producing crop. Physiological measurement systems of tree water (stem sap flow, leaf gas exchange, soil water content) will be conducted in relation to gum production;
  • Tree management (shoot and root) for optimization of gum-arabic production in relation to soil microbial populations present in the rhizospheric area in differing environmental conditions will form an important topic for improvement of the financial profits of the populations concerned in gum-arabic production.
  • The innovative linking of genetics with quality attributes of verified A. senegal trees will yield a tool to ensure that future tree plantings produce high quality gum.
  • An innovative and novel, certified marketing system that provides equitable returns to producers and rural populations and assures importers of the source, bio safety, hygiene and quality of the product will be developed and proposed to policy makers and commerce.
  • The relationship between soil fertility and sustainable gum-arabic production will be developed and quantified with the final objective to produce gum arabic with a green label.
  • The topic of dissemination of results and information has been granted particular importance and a work package has been dedicated to dissemination issues to try to maximize impact amongst end users. Dissemination plans will be developed for different audiences: to Government Departments in DC’s countries involved in the study to national and international agencies involved in natural resource management, NGOs, all actors in the production/marketing chain from local populations through farmers, and the scientific community.

Visit the projects website: inco-acaciagum.cirad.fr