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Call for Abstracts for Poster Presentation on Neglected and Underutilized Species

Call for Abstract: 

Although more than 3,000 plant species have been identified as edible, only 10 cereal grains, legumes and oilseeds dominate 80% of the world's cropland. Wheat, Rice and Maize by themselves account for two-thirds of the world's arable lands. This is starkly reflected in the diets we consume, where 90% of our plant-based calories can be traced back to only 30 or so crops. Consequently, about 60% of the world's population is currently malnourished, either due to lack of enough calories or due to too much of the wrong kind of calories.

In the context of changing climate, over reliance on a handful of crops also puts our food security at great risk. Furthermore, over reliance on a handful of commodity crops also exposes people to the risks of rampant speculation in food prices resulting in food crises and riots seen in 2008. As the poor and vulnerable try to cope with food and economic crises, they further reduce consumption of diverse diet and their investment in education and healthcare services. Poor nutrition in early childhood can have dire repercussions for their future adulthood as well due to significantly compromised cognitive and social development.

Taking this into consideration, it is important to broaden our research on neglected and underutilized species (NUS)1, so called from the perspective of mainstream agricultural research. From 2011, with support from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the European Commission and Bioversity International, LI-BIRD has been implementing a project on NUS. The goal of this project is "to facilitate more effective and sustainable use, management and conservation of local agricultural biodiversity by communities and stakeholders, particularly in the context of food security, nutrition, income generation potential and adaptation to climate change." 

In three years of implementation, the project has developed research findings that are relevant to food security of the nation. On 12 February 2015, we are organizing a one-day workshop to share the findings of research and methodologies from the project for promoting and mainstreaming NUS crops in Nepal. The workshop will also feature a poster presentation session, where we are inviting other researchers and organizations to share their work related to NUS. This is a forum that hope will spark ideas and open up avenues for future collaboration in NUS crops.

Thus, if you have interest experiences related to NUS within the following themes, please send the abstract for your poster no later than 5pm (NST) 23 January 2015. We will cover the participation cost for the posters selected for presentation. 

Themes for the abstract:

  1. On farm and/or on station research on NUS crops
  2. Processing technology on NUS crops
  3. Folk History, tradition, indigenous knowledge and culture of NUS 
  4. Markets, marketing and promotion of NUS
  5. Gender perspective on NUS
  6. NUS for environmental and climate change resilience
  7. Policy perspectives on NUS

Guidelines for the abstract:

  • It is encouraged to submit all abstract in English but in case of history, traditions and   culture abstract in Nepali will also be accepted.
  • Abstracts are limited to 350 words excluding the titles.
  • Use limited references (e.g. Neupane 1999), only if necessary.
  • Complete abstract should have following things

          - Title of the Abstract
          - Author(s) with their affiliation (e.g, Indra Paudel, Technical Officer, Local  
            Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development, P O Box 324, Pokhara, 
          - E-mail of the lead author
          - Abstract
          - Keywords (max 5)

  • Multiple abstract from the same individual will also be accepted. 

Please send your abstracts with short biography of lead author (max 50 words) to mentioning Abstract for NUS Sharing Workshop as subject. Received abstracts will be reviewed by the team of experts and authors of selected abstracts will be notified via e-mail by 30 January, 2015.

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