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International Centre for Research and Training on Seabuckthorn - Initiatives
Partners for an Underutilized Crop
Partners for an Underutilized Crop
A short introduction to potential and actual partners for ICRTS
Consultative Group on International
Consultative Group on International
Agricultural Research - CGIAR
Agricultural Research - CGIAR
The CGIAR is a global partnership
consisting of 16 International Agricul-
tural Research Centres (IARCs) and 58
members (countries, foundations, re-
gional and international organizations).
Further public and private organizations
function as donors, research associates
and advisors. The CGIAR's agenda fo-
cuses on food security, poverty eradica-
tion and natural resources management.
Activities include research on food
crops, forests, livestock, irrigation and
water management, and aquatic re-
sources worldwide.
In 1994, the CGIAR Genetic Re-
sources Policy Committee (GRPC) was
set up and has been considering since
1996 the question of including minor
crops to extend the base of food secu-
rity. A consultation of the GRPC, held in
February 1999, explored the current and
potential role of the CGIAR in collabora-
tive research and related activities on
underutilized crops. The consultation
produced recommendations for activities
on a regional basis. This, however,
could be impeding work on species that
are distributed or have potential in more
than one geographical region of the
world. The consultation highlighted that
IARCs should better document and
communicate their work in the area of
underutilized species. Pilot projects on
underutilized crops covering all aspects
from conservation, breeding, and pro-
duction to processing, marketing and
consumption should be developed. A
major impediment to greater use of un-
derutilized species is the lack of infor-
mation about their potential, character-
istics, and uses. The CGIAR System-
wide Information Network on Genetic
Resources (SINGER), as well as data-
bases of other organizations such as
FAO and ICUC can help to address this
problem. There is a need to conduct
more economic and policy research on
the role and potential of underutilized
crops in farming and food systems. It
was indicated that work on underutilized
crops within the CGIAR might benefit
from the creation of a forum to provide
focus and a co-ordination mechanism.
The International Plant Genetic Re-
sources Institute (IPGRI) in Rome, Italy,
was suggested to be a logical choice to
take on the initiative.
The ICRTS Secretariat has initiated
contacts with one of the IARCs, i.e., the
International Centre for Agricultural Re-
search in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), lo-
cated in Aleppo, Syria, which is the only
CGIAR Centre with a mandate for dry
areas. ICARDA is currently experiment-
ing with raising seedlings (
H. rhamnoi-
H. rham.
). Two further CGIAR Cen-
tres with relevant mandates, i.e., for-
estry and agroforestry, but operating so
far only in tropical areas, are the Centre
for International Forestry Research
(CIFOR), located in Bogor, Indonesia,
and the International Centre for Re-
search in Agroforestry (ICRAF), located
in Nairobi, Kenya. Interested readers
and especially ICRTS members are ad-
vised to follow up on future develop-
ments in the CGIAR system and its re-
search centres.
CGIAR Secretariat

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