Crops for the Future (CFF)

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Crops for the Future
Formation 2009
Type International Partnership Organisation
Legal status International organisation
Purpose Promote and facilitate the use of neglected and underutilised crops
Global Coordinator
Dr Michael Hermann[1]

Crops for the Future, known by its acronym CFF, is an independent international organisation with a mandate to promote and facilitate the greater use of neglected and underutilised crops for enhanced diversification of agricultural systems and human diets, particularly for the benefit of poor people in developing countries.[2] Crops for the Future is the only such organisation exclusively dedicated to an agenda increasingly recognised as important to achieving food security in a sustainable manner and making use of local agricultural biodiversity.


Working in partnership with CGIAR, GFAR, FAO and other international organizations and with a range of national and non-governmental institutions, Crops for the Future seeks to:

  • increase the knowledge base for neglected crops,
  • advocate policies that do not discriminate against crop diversity,
  • increase awareness of the relevance of neglected crops for rural livelihoods, and
  • strengthen capacities in relevant sectors.


Crops for the Future was established in 2009 through the merger of the International Centre for Underutilised Crops (ICUC) in Sri Lanka and the Global Facilitation Unit for Underutilised Species (GFU) in Rome.[3] Crops for the Future is based in Semenyih, Malaysia, and is governed by a Board of Directors, including a representative of the Government of Malaysia.

Research and development[edit]

Pappad made of finger millet (Eleusine coracana)
A self-help group of CoDI, India, preparing pappad from finger millet.

Crops for the Future convenes international science events focusing on underutilised species, notably a series of international symposia, such as the International Symposium on Underutilized Plants for Food Security, Nutrition, Income and Sustainable Development, in Arusha, 2008[4] and the Second International Symposium on Underutilised Plant Species, in Kuala Lumpur, 2011.[5]

In collaboration with local partners, Crops for the Future also undertakes research and development projects in poor communities of developing countries designed to improve rural livelihoods through greater use of agricultural biodiversity.

Coalition to Diversify Income (CoDI) is one of the programmes led by Crops for the Future (through its predecessor – ICUC) and has been carried out in eight locations in India and Vietnam.[6] CoDI is designed to assist small farmers to develop and implement better practice in crop production and post-harvest management, as well as to overcome the limitation of market access in order to generate more income.[7][8] The case of Hòa Vang sticky rice in Hải Dương represents a good example of the success of this project.[9] In India, CoDI promoted enhanced utilisation of minor millets, such as Eleusine coracana and native fruits in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.[10]

The project "Recipes for Success" was implemented in local communities in Benin, Kenya and Tanzania, to enhance consumption and production of indigenous fruits and vegetables by local communities for more nutritious and sustainable diets.[11]


  1. ^ "New Global Coordinator for Crops for the Future". Bioversity International Newsletter No. 56, July–December 2010. Retrieved: 2011-10-27.
  2. ^ Crops for the Future, "Crops for the Future Strategic Plan 2009-2013",
  3. ^ Brooke, Lindsay (2008-11-27). "Crops for the Future". Press release. Retrieved: 2011-10-27
  4. ^ "International Symposium on Underutilized Plants for Food Security, Nutrition, Income and Sustainable Development". Retrieved: 2011-11-16
  5. ^ "2nd International Symposium on Underutilised Plant Species". Retrieved: 2011-11-16
  6. ^ Sakāl Times, 2011-03-22, "Farmers diversify income, thanks to BAIF". Retrieved: 2011-11-16
  7. ^ Jaenicke, H. et al. (2011). "Underused Crops can Help Diversify Income Opportunities", Palawija newsletter, Vol 28(2), p.5.
  8. ^ 2011-10-16. "Local food systems in VietnamLstrengths and opportunities". Retrieved: 2011-11-16
  9. ^ Le, T.G. "The project "Coalition to diversify income through the underused crops" (CoDI) supports farmers to develop Hoa Vang sticky rice in Hai Duong". Retrieved: 2011-11-16
  10. ^ The Times of India, 2011-3-23, "Baif project helps small farmers grow minor crops". Retrieved: 2011-11-16
  11. ^ "Recipes for Success"

External links[edit]