Agrofolio

Welcome to the Agrofolio project page!

Project acronym: Agro-folio

Full title: Benefiting from an Improved Agricultural Portfolio in Asia

Duration: 12 months (01-09-2006 to 31-08-2007)

Project coordinator: Dr. Markus Schmidt

eu

Funded by the European Commisssion under FP 6

Project Focus

Neglected and Underutilized Crop Species (NUS) are an important fraction of the agronomic portfolio, bearing not only an undiscovered economic potential but also contributing essentially to agro diversity, a cornerstone in the reliability of food supply.

Challenges

NUS are grown primarily in their centres of origin or centres of diversity by traditional farmers, where they are still important for the subsistence of local communities, or were once more widely grown but are today falling into disuse for a variety of agronomic, genetic, economic and cultural factors.

Some species may be globally used and distributed, but tend to occupy small niches in the local ecology and in production and consumption systems. While these crops continue to be maintained by socio-cultural preferences and use practices, they remain inadequately characterized and neglected by research and conservation and economy.

Objectives

The aim of the project is to maintain agricultural diversity and to improve the agricultural portfolio, by supporting the use of NUS in Asian countries. Thus the project contributes to agricultural diversification, income generation and food security on a regional and international level.

Agrofolio’s objective is to elaborate a list of recommendations and strategies for the sustainable use of priority NUS based on a multi-criteria assessment of Asian NUS.

The project links European researchers and expertise to their Asian colleagues to investigate the potential sustainable use of NUS, and to explore new opportunities for niche products, both for local and international markets. These goals are reflected in the make up of the project team, coming from European Union member states, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and P.R. China.

By providing an exchange platform for European and Asian experts and other stakeholder – jointly elaborating a list of recommendations for researchers and policy makers – the project will bring mutual benefits for all partners and regions involved.