The "Forgotten" Crops Society
Unlocking the potential of under-researched crops
Out of around 6000 plants historically cultivated for food, six now dominate global food production as “major crops”. Largely absent from global food trade and development initiatives, the forgotten majority of crop plants are a safety-net for the livelihoods across rural and urban populations across the world. Most “forgotten crops” are not traded internationally, thus attracting little attention from the global scientific community. Some have been formally recognized as “orphan crops”, or “under-researched” but still attract limited scientific research, especially in areas that require long-term effort to bear fruit. Plant breeding programs are especially under-developed for these crops. As we face the present and future challenges of achieving food security, forgotten crops can play a vital role as nutritious food sources for poor farmers and urban communities, and can help consumers around the world enjoy diverse diets and rich culinary cultures that contribute to societal wellbeing. Forgotten and orphan crops can also help make cropping systems and human communities more resilient to the external shocks generated by climate change, at all geographical scales. Concerted efforts by academia, industry, and society are urgently needed to advance research and development for all major, under-researched, and forgotten crops so that food security is achieved, and livelihoods are improved.
What we want to achieve
Encourage the exchange of ideas and transdisciplinary research around forgotten and under-utilized crops.
Increase global awareness of their importance for food and nutrition, security, and climate change through research projects, papers, seminars, and working groups.
Prioritize the study of a promising subset of 100 most-used but least-studied crops.
Provide information for the development of sustainable food production systems.
Review and monitor historical and recent publications on forgotten crops.
Support new business ideas and technical innovations related to under-utilized crops.
Support communities who maintain crop diversity, traditional knowledge, and various forms of intellectual property related to plants.
Aggregate and share international learning and experience to generate contacts, partnerships, and other links between scientists, with particular attention to support for younger scientists.
Facilitate a network of key players in the food chain to bring forgotten and under-researched crops to the attention of markets and to consumers’ tables. In short, we aim to help put food on the table.
Encourage the exchange of ideas and transdisciplinary research around orphan/under-researched crops.
Prioritize the truly promising subset, of 100 most used but least studied crops.
Build a research consortium around orphan/under-researched crops and closing the research gap by providing information related to their high value for future sustainable food production systems.
Monitor historical and ongoing publishing on orphan/under-researched crops
Increase awareness globally about the importance of orphan/under-researched crops for food and nutrition, security and to fight climate change through research projects, papers, seminars, and working groups.
Support new business ideas and innovation around the orphan/under-researched crops.
Support the communities who have maintained those crops, highlight their traditional knowledge, and respect their intellectual property
Sharing international learning and experiences, building contacts and partnerships, creating links between scientists, and supporting the next generation of researchers.
Facilitating a network of key players in the food chain to bring orphan/under-researched crops to the attention of markets and to consumers’ tables.
- ven. 02 juil.Zoom meeting02 juil. 2021, 14:30 – 15:30 UTCZoom meeting02 juil. 2021, 14:30 – 15:30 UTCZoom meetingOn 2 July at 2.30 PM,GMT we will be launching the Forgotten Crops Society founded by researchers from Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Morocco; Cambridge Global Food Security, UK; the Crop Trust, OCP North America, and the National Museum of Ethnology of Osaka (Japan).