In July 2011, GFAR commissioned through GlobalHort, an international Initiative with a broad array of partner organizations, having also its Secretariat at FAO, a study to document the importance of under-utilized plants and crops for achieving smallholders agro-ecosystem sustainability in addressing the MDGs. This scientific report was used to make the case for DOCs (Development Opportunity Crops) at the CGIAR Science Forum in Beijing (October 17-19, 2011). It has been transformed into a policy brief for sensitizing policy makers and investors.
the second international workshop for the promotion of agrobiodiversity
through development opportunity crops, held at FAO, Rome, 10-11 January
2012, organized by GlobalHort and supported by GFAR, GlobalHort
facilitated the resolutions coming out and agreed on by all participants
collaborating in a Diversity for Development Alliance (D4D). This
Alliance has resulted in a review article that has been published in the journal Agronomy for Sustainable Development.
Article title: Agrobiodiversity for food security, health and income
Editorial manuscript number: ASDE-D-12-00143.1Authors: Remi Kahane, Toby Hodgkin, Hannah Jaenicke, Coosje Hoogendoorn, Michael Hermann, Dyno Keatinge, Jacqueline d'Arros Hughes, Stefano Padulosi and Norman Looney.
The Development Opportunity Crops Network (DOC Net) was one outcome of a January 20-21, 2011 Workshop convened in Rome by the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR) and the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). An Opportunity existed for collective actions involving GlobalHort, Crops for the Future, the Non-Timber Forest Products Partnership, Bioversity International, the Global Crop Diversity Trust, and others. These partners share the vision that encouraging and facilitating the cultivation and marketing of a greater diversity of high value specialty crops, both indigenous and exotic, can significantly improve incomes and health of the rural poor. They also point to the important environmental services provided and to the ‘preservation through use’ of valuable plant genetic resources.
GlobalHort Board Chair, Norman Looney, helped to craft a manifesto for this kind of Collective Action. It was agreed that GFAR would provide the required leadership and coordination, noting that the promotion of High-Value Specialty Plants such as horticultural crops could make an important contribution to the GFAR effort to connect, inform, and identify priority issues for the global community of professionals engaged in agri-cultural and socio-economic research for development. Dr. Looney observed that GlobalHort can contribute importantly to ensuring that high-value specialty plants and crops receive the attention deserved within the context of reducing poverty and improving food and nutrition security of smallholders.
An article was written in the January 2012 issue of New Agriculturist entitled "Realising the benefits of enhanced Agrobiodiversity" by: Norman Looney (The Global Horticulture Initiative), J. Coosje Hoogendoorn (INBAR), Jackie Hughes (AVRDC), Remi Kahane (The Global Horticulture Initiative), Michael Hermann (Crops for the Future), Dyno Keatinge (AVRDC) and Harry Palmier (AVRDC)
Development opportunity crops and species (DOCS): strategy, action plan, and integrated R4D programme. A discussion paper prepared by Ralf Kwaschik.