Tools and strategic approaches for funding work on underutilized species

It is now more widely understood than a few years ago that underutilized plant species are significant resources for agricultural and rural development. They can positively contribute to livelihoods through enhancing incomes, improving nutrition and embodying important cultural dimensions relating to the history, religion and customs of communities.

However, despite this more favorable climate for conducting research on underutilized crops, a disproportionate gap remains between funding needs and resource mobilization. The Global Facilitation Unit for Underutilized Species recognizes this gap and the support that stakeholders need to mobilize successfully the necessary financial resources. Although not being a funding mechanism, we consider the facilitation of access to financial resources as part of our mission. Taking into account our human resources available in relation to the diversity of requirements and capabilities of our partner network, it is not feasible for us to detail all potential donors and funding opportunities or provide support in pursuing such opportunities. We therefore decided to rather fulfill this commitment by providing advice on optimal positioning of work on underutilized species in the funding arena, identifying donors that may include such work in their priorities, and by suggesting strategies for maximizing the overall resources available.

The document published here is a guide in this direction and we hope it serves a large number of fund seekers. We recognize that some of the recommendations given herein are obvious and well known by experienced research proposal writers, However we also wanted to be helpful to smaller organizations which usually do not have adequate capacities to mobilize funds for their work.

Link to the document (pdf, 140 kb): A database for fund seekers and not only!

The information provided in this database intends to give a picture of the donor agencies which include underutilized plant species into their portfolio. When browsing through the information please keep in mind that the mandate and portfolio of each of the funding agencies listed is often much broader than the one described here; the survey has been conducted considering the needs of the community dealing with underutilized species.
Each of the agencies listed is associated with the funding opportunities offered.

The information reflects the situation as of October 2007.
No matter how much we strive to keep it up-to date, this is always work in progress.
We would appreciate to hear from you about any amendments that this database might require.
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Via dei Tre Denari 472/A, 00057 Maccarese, Rome, Italy
Tel: ++39 06 6118 292 - Fax: ++39 06 6197 9661
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