Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, Acting Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), represented the Philippines in the Regional Expert Consultation on Underutilized Crops for Food and Nutritional Security in Asia and the Pacific held last year in Bangkok, Thailand.
Dr. Ebora presented the Country Status Report: The Philippines’ Underutilized Crops for Food and Nutritional Security in Asia and the Pacific, wherein he shared that the Philippines has adopted the global 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which targets to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030. He also provided background and data on the edible fruit and nut species; indigenous species that are mostly underutilized; common rootcrops; and area, production, and productivity of some underutilized crops with potential.
He shared the initiatives, which have significant impacts, on restoring crop diversity. He also shared the challenges, opportunities, strategies, and future thrusts that may be applicable to underutilized crops to explore their potential as food and nutraceuticals.
Dr. Ebora was also among the ten panelists who shared insights on Policy Support for Underutilized Crops to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Senior officials from organizers, participating NARS, CG Centres, experts in the fields of underutilized crops, representatives of research institutions, donors, private sector, non-government organizations (NGOs), and farmers attended the Regional Expert Consultation. The consultation aimed to create much needed awareness on the role and value of underutilized bioresources that have potential for diversification of food basket to ensure better food and nutritional security in Asia Pacific; share experiences and learn lessons to accelerate the use of underutilized plants as crops for the future; and assess R&D status on priority crops and policies that are needed to promote the use of these ‘Crops for the Future’ in Asia and the Pacific region.
The consultation was organized by the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) and Council of Agriculture (COA), Taiwan, in collaboration with the World Vegetable Center, and co-sponsored by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Crops for the Future (CFF), International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), and Bioversity International.