The European Union (EU) is the world’s largest funder of development assistance and among the top three research funders. It has provided consistent support to Bioversity International over the past two decades, supporting more than 40 projects addressing global hunger and extreme poverty.
EU funding has been provided through their contribution to the CGIAR Fund as well as through mechanisms including the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP-EU) Cooperation Programme in Science and Technology, the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO-EuropeAid) and the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020.
Bioversity International leads a Neglected and Underutilized Species (NUS) value chains development initiative in several regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
For example we have been working in Bolivia and Peru for more than ten years on traditional grains such as quinoa, amaranth and cañihua, which are highly nutritious and have been cultivated for thousands of years in the high altitude plains. But these crops were in decline. Research to improve production and processing methods, strengthen market links, and deliver promotional campaigns led to increased cultivation, market opportunities, and consumption of these traditional forgotten grains. Empowering actors throughout the whole value chain helps them to reduce malnutrition, cope with climate change and improve livelihoods (read the impact brief - pictured right - to find out more).
In 2015 we launched a new initiative to study how underutilized crops can enhance resilience and nutrition in Mali, India and Guatemala. This initiative is supported by the European Union, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).
Thanks to support from ACP-EU and DEVCO, we are currently strengthening capacities and informing policies to make these forgotten but resilient and nutritious crops of national and regional importance more accessible.
Through financial support from the ACP-EU, Bioversity International’s scientists are currently working with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Mauritius, South Africa and Zambia to reinforce their national strategies for the in situ conservation and the sustainable use of crop wild relatives.
This is being done through the establishment of protected area networks and the development of National Strategic Action Plans. The aim is to scale out these methods and approaches in the future to allow other countries to design and implement their own targeted conservation measures.
Read: Crop Wild Relatives - are they going to end up like the dodo?
Read the factsheet: Enhancing the link between in situ conservation and use of crop wild relatives (CWR) in the SADC region to underpin regional food security and mitigate predicted adverse impact of climate change