Promoting agrobiodiversity: leveraging GI potentials in the use of underutilized species

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Presentation hold by John Stefano Padulosi, Senior Scientist, Marketing Diversity, at the Brussels Briefing ‘Geography of food: reconnecting with origin in the food system’, organized by CTA on 15th …

Presentation hold by John Stefano Padulosi, Senior Scientist, Marketing Diversity, at the Brussels Briefing ‘Geography of food: reconnecting with origin in the food system’, organized by CTA on 15th May 2013.
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  • NUS are nutritious crops and people know that: leveraging on this perception help boosting their markets..Education on NUS and nutrition/health important at school level..
  • EU-ACP Project 2009-2013: The project is implemented by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), in partnership with the African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE), Bioversity International, IRDCAM (Institut de Recherché et de Développmentsur la Biodiversité des PlantesCultivées, Aromatiques et Médicinales) in Benin,Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Ghana, University of Malawi, and University of Nairobi, Kenya. This type of work needs to be further promoted to reach out more and more countries in order to strengthen national capacities in addressing NUS research effectively. Universities need to also embed NUS-related themes in their curricula and inter-University synergy (e.g. agriculture, nutrition and economics) need to be promoted.


  • 1. Brussels Briefing n. 31Geography of food: reconnecting with origin in the foodsystem15th May 2013http://brusselsbriefings.netPromoting agrobiodiversity: leveraging GI potentialin the use of underutilised speciesStefano Padulosi, Bioversity International
  • 2. Leveraging Geographical Indications potentials toenhance the use of underutilized speciesStefano Padulosi, Bioversity International15 June 2013
  • 3. 3Neglected and Underutilized Species (NUS)• Nutritional value appreciated by people• Hardiness, good adaptability, versatility in use• Rich associated food culture and traditions• Poor economic competitiveness with commodity crops• Lack of improved varieties & enhanced cultivation practices• Drudgery in value addition• Disorganized or non-existent market chains• Perception of being “food of the poor”• Cultivated and utilized relying on Indigenous Knowledge (IK)• Scarcely represented in ex situ collections
  • 4. 4Nutritional benefits of NUSCase of African leafy vegetablesPer 100 gmAmaranth(leaf)Cleome Nightshade CabbageIron mg 8.9 6.0 1.0 0.7Calcium mg 410 288 442 47ß caroteneųg 5716 10452 3660 100
  • 5. 5National Geographic 2011Study conducted in 1983 bythe Rural AdvancementFoundation International gavea clue to the scope of theproblem. It compared USDAlistings of seed varieties soldby commercial US seedhouses in 1903 with those inthe US National Seed StorageLaboratory in 1983. Thesurvey, which included 66crops, found that about 93%of varieties had gone extinct.GENETIC EROSIONLoss of genetic & cultural diversityGenetic Erosion
  • 6. 6Improvednutrition,incomes andother livelihoodbenefits fromNUSHolistic NUS Promotion: from Farm-to-ForkGeneticdiversitySelectioncultivationHarvest ValueadditionMarketing FinaluseRescued diversityMap diversityIK DocumentationConservation(ex situ/ in situ)Better varietiesBest practicesHigh Quality SeedImprovedtechnologyNovel food itemsRecipes (old/new)Quality standardsEfficient value chainsCommercializationBrandingMulti-stakeholdersPlatforms ofCooperationNutrition awarenessEnabling PoliciesPromotionsEducationGI
  • 7. India: empowerment of vulnerable groups throughestablishment of associations (SHG), skillenhancement and introduction of simple technology
  • 8. 8Bolivia: marrying income generation and betternutrition in one goal• Joint venture with private sector (Sobrela Roca) led to more attractive foodproducts targeting particularly children• Outcome: popularization of nutritiousfood among children and inclusion ofamaranth-based food items in schoolmeals (Sucre and Serrano)• Impact: Estimated income of at least 3mil Bs /year for amaranth value chainsector in 2010 as a result of amaranthschool meal policy in ChuquisacaDepartment alone.
  • 9. 10Role of GI in promoting underutilizedspeciesGI utilize traditional practices and endemic resourcesArgan Oil (Morocco)– The Argan Tree is endemic to SouthwestMorocco– Prevents desertification and soil erosion– UNESCO declared the Argan forest regiona biosphere site– Positive effects on local economy andwelfare: women cooperatives (13certified PGI coop, 123 awaitingcertification)
  • 10. 11Role of GI in promoting underutilizedvarieties of major cropsMaiz Blanco Gigante de Cuzco (Peru)– Ancient variety, which is part ofPeruvian cultural patrimony, isgrown in the Sacred Valley of theIncas– The local agriculture and thisspecific crop were at risk– Relevant stakeholders consideredthat the GI scheme was the mosteffective response available
  • 11. Lessons and ChallengesGI play significant role in recovery andvalorization of Agrobiodiversity/NUSSuccessful recovery of Genetic Resourcesthrough GI (management of germplasminvolving producers, Governing Body, andregional institutions)Strong link with IK and culture justifies GIprotection, contribute to rural developmentIK (seed selection, recipes, foodconservation etc) can be used for GIdevelopment and protected from biopiracyIncreasing involvement of supermarkets inorigin and tradition-based products.OpportunitiesLandrace promotion & risks of loss ofgenetic diversityEconomically and geographically small GI& challenge of designing Governing Bodieswith low transaction costsVulnerability of small producers innational/export marketsUnclear distribution of benefits alongvalue chain in developing countriesPossible exclusion of local and poorpeople in high-end niche marketsLabeling, safety, traceability regulationsfor small organizations.Challenges(Source: J. Larson 2007)
  • 12. The way forward
  • 13. Assessment of GI potentials for NUS as livelihoodinstruments: more studies neededGI development/implementation: capacity buildingof different actors neededBridging conservation with use: stronger linkagesbetween conservation and marketing agencies(including those involved with GI).
  • 14. 15Enhancing Capacities of NUS amongyoung scientists
  • 15. www.bioversityinternational.orgThank you