The 3rd International Conference on Neglected and Underutilized Species is planned for 23–25 September 2013 in Accra, Ghana.
The emerging interest in Neglected and Underutilized Species (NUS) needs to be supported by science-based evidence of how NUS contribute to food security, income generation, better nutrition and climate change resilience. To this end, Bioversity International and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ghana, and our partners are organizing the 3rd International Conference on Neglected and Underutilized Species.
The theme of the conference is NUS for a food-secure Africa. It will bring together research scientists, policy makers, entrepreneurs along the value chain, extension services, NGOs, development agencies, nutritionists, educators and others interested in helping poor farmers to use so-called minor crops to improve their livelihoods and well being. The emphasis will be on sharing evidence of what works.
The organizers are optimistic that efforts currently under way to secure full funding and support for the Conference will be successful and are issuing this Preliminary Announcement to enable researchers time to prepare to attend the conference.
Papers and posters will be invited on three conference themes:
Theme 1: Resilience of agricultural and livelihood systems
a)Diversification for food security in sub-Saharan Africa
The current and potential contributions to food security of neglected and underutilized species are gaining recognition globally. With a focus on Africa, this sub-theme will include analyses of relations between food security and NUS from a variety of perspectives. Contributions will also assess the potential of NUS to offer a range of options to enable farmers to adapt their systems to climate change and increased variability.
b) Neglected and underutilized species for nutrition and health
Many NUS are known to have high nutritional value and to play a strategic role in sustainable food systems. Contributions to this theme will demonstrate the nutritional and health value of local crops and offer evidence that quantifies such benefits.
Theme 2: Upgrading value chains of neglected and underutilized species
Successful income generation from NUS relies on effective value-addition strategies that take a systems perspective and involve multiple stakeholders. Papers will present experiences and lessons learned related to production, processing and marketing of NUS and how these efforts have benefited, or can benefit, smallholder farmers in particular. Aspects may include seed systems, storage, value addition and marketing, as well as socio-economic factors. The role of three levels of value chain actors – operators, service providers, and regulating and policy institutions – will be explored.
Theme 3: Creating an enabling environment
a) Policy frameworks
For NUS to play an enhanced role in food security, policy interventions are crucial. Papers under this sub-theme will present evidence of policy issues that may promote or hinder enhanced use of NUS in Africa and will share experience of how these issues have been addressed. Contributions will cover national and international policies and will provide recommendations for actions that support the promotion of NUS in the various areas explored in the conference.
b) Capacity development and institutions
Capacity development in higher education and research and development (R&D) is critical for innovation in NUS value chains. This sub-theme will provide a situation analysis of current capacity for R&D on NUS. Contributions to the theme will showcase evidence of how educational programmes, and institutions involved in building capacity of researchers and extension workers, can be strengthened for effective R&D and thus better use of NUS in Africa.
c) Partnership, projects, platforms
The sub-theme’s objective is to review existing efforts at national and international levels to promote synergy and avoid unnecessary duplication of work. Latest developments in the area of cooperation for NUS in Africa will be presented and debated. Contributions detailing successful experience from other regions will be presented along with reflections on opportunities for North-South and South-South cooperation in NUS research.
Full details about Registration, Abstracts, Venue, Accommodation, etc. will be included in the first formal conference announcement. Sign up for our newsletter to get updates as they happen.