Bioversity International: research for development in agricultural and tree biodiversity

Fruit tree and tree crop diversity

Fruit tree and tree crop diversity

Fruit tree and tree crop diversity is crucial for nutrition, livelihoods and ecosystem resilience around the world.  

For more than 30 years, Bioversity International has worked closely with fruit tree and tree crop professionals and farmers around the world to share experiences, challenges, and new methods and approaches regarding the integration of diverse knowledge sources, the cross-fertilization of ideas, and the co-production of new innovations in the following areas:

Tropical fruit trees

Mango diversity on display at a diversity fair, India. Credit: Bioversity International/B. Vinceti

Tropical fruit tree species – such as avocado, durian, jackfruits, litchi, longan, mango, mangosteen, rambutan and starfruits –  are important resources for the well-being of many people around the world and can play a major role to enhance nutrition and livelihoods.

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Central Asia fruit trees

Fruit and nut trees are naturally drought-resistant and grow well in the mountainous landscape of Tajikistan. Credit: Bioversity International/B.Vinceti

Some of the world’s most important fruit species find their origin in the mountains of Central Asia. Over the centuries, nature and people have shaped these fruits into a diversity that has become a mainstay of everyday survival. For more than 15 years, Bioversity International has been working in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, focusing on promoting the conservation and use of traditional fruit tree varieties.  

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Coconut

Bioversity International coordinates the coconut genetic resources network (COGENT), which aims to improve the conservation of this commodity crop  important for the livelihoods of people living in rural poverty. We also work to ensure the safe movement of coconut germplasm around the world to where it is needed.

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Cacao

Selecting cacao. Photo: Bioversity International/J. Ranieri

The future of the world cocoa economy depends on the availability of genetic diversity and its sustainable use to meet increasing and rapidly diversifying consumer demand based on improved varieties. In collaboration with member representatives from various cocoa research institutes and organizations that support cocoa research, Bioversity International coordinates the Global Cacao Genetic Resources Network.

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Forest genetic resources and restoration

Close up of the bark of an African cherry tree (Prunus africana). Credit: Bioversity International/B. Vinceti

Bioversity International’s tree genetic resources research focuses on documenting the diversity within tree species that are important for people, analyzing the threats to trees and their genetic resources and learning how these threats can be addressed to achieve their conservation and sustainable use in protected areas, managed forests and woodlands.

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