FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Regional Expert Consultation on Scoping, Prioritizing and Mapping of Neglected and Underutilized Crop Species in Asia under the Regional Initiative on Zero Hunger Challenge

03/12/2016-05/12/2016 Bangkok, Thailand


In observance of the International Year of Pulses (IYP) 2016

Co-sponsor: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)

In collaboration with the FAO Special Ambassador of the International Year of Pulses 2016, The University of Western Australia (UWA), International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Bioversity International, the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation - Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (MSSRF-LANSA), Mahidol University, the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences - Tropical Crops Genetic Resources Institute (CATAS-TCGRI), the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Crops for the Future (CFF), the International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet), and The Akshaya Patra Foundation, India

Hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition are major problems in Asia and the Pacific region. To address these challenges, it is indispensable to coordinate and integrate agriculture and nutrition actions that maximize impact. There is a need for better linkages between production, consumption and nutrition to tackle malnutrition and its causes. In this regard, dietary diversification is a cost-effective, affordable and sustainable means of strengthening local food systems and reducing hunger and malnutrition. Neglected and Underutilized Species (NUS) are rich in Asia. They represent a promising abundance of food resources and have many benefits: As an essential source of vitamins, micronutrients and protein, their nutritional value is high and may thus contribute to attain food security in the region. They also feature considerable commercial potential and boost household income generation and livelihood improvements. NUS crops contribute to climate-resilient and more sustainable food systems as they are frequently adapted to marginal conditions. A wider use of today’s minor NUS crops may make a great contribution to address malnutrition. However, it is yet to scope the availability of crop-related NUS, prioritize and identify NUS with high potential, and map the selected NUS for further development.


  • Validate country preliminary scoping reports on Neglected and Underutilized Species (NUS) in selected countries
  • Rank and prioritize high-potential NUS based on established priority criteria 
  • Identify 5-6 NUS per country
  • Strategize to enhance production and utilisation of the selected crops in local diets

Concept note




List of participants 

Final report