A global manifesto to conserve forgotten foods

We are excited to announce the launch of a global manifesto for collective actions on forgotten foods. Also referred to as neglected and underutilized species (NUS), indigenous foods, orphan crops or future foods, this broad category encompasses tens of thousands of biodiverse plant and animal species that offer us different food options- providing valuable nutrients and supporting resilient, climate-smart agriculture.

The Manifesto, promoted by GFAR as part of a collective action program on forgotten foods, with the support of Crops for the Future and the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT, was developed as the result of regional consultations led by FARA, APAARI and AARINENA that involved over 8,000 people and hundreds of other organizations. The collected findings were recently launched through a virtual webinar including research organizations (national and international), farmers’ organizations and the private sector.

The Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT is proud to be designated as the convener for the next steps, which will include the finalization of an action plan and the creation of a community of practice.

The Manifesto calls for concrete actions that contribute to achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to the ‘Right to Food’ and the ‘Right to Health’ embedded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is also meant to be used as an invaluable input for the United Nations Food Systems Summit in 2021 to recognize the importance of these crops and the role of farmers in addressing the multiple crises we face today.

Action points

The Manifesto calls for:

  • Transformative action to turn forgotten foods into respected, valued and supported ingredients of healthy diets, sustainable livelihoods and resilient seed and food systems.

  • Recognition of smallholder farmers and their communities as forgotten foods custodians of knowledge and good practice and agents of change.

  • Development and research investments in forgotten crops that are resilient and well-adapted to a wider range of environments and cropping systems.

  • Policy and economic support to promote economic development through the formation of farmer-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs). 

  • Gender transformative approaches for equity and transformation of power dynamics and structures to overcome social, cultural and other forms of inequality in the management of forgotten foods.

  • A portfolio of targeted interventions which bring farmer communities at the center stage of development, research and innovation as co-producers of knowledge and practices.

Read the Manifesto

A working version of the Manifesto can be accessed below, and will be updated once finalized:

Manifesto Draft