27 participants from Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, representing NGOs, National Research Institutes, International Research Centres, universities, regional networks, Government institutions and the private sector gathered in Colombo, Sri Lanka 16-17 March 2006 to discuss and refine a regional strategy for research and development of underutilized plant species.
The group discussed about the definition of underutilized species,
constraints to achieving their potential (p 17) and developed a problem tree (p
19), detailing reasons for the various constraints. These were then formulated
as intervention points in a diagram that captured the links and causal
connections of the underlying causes of the perceived limited appreciation of
underutilized plants (p 23).
Moving on the group discussed a 15-year vision for underutilized species (p 25) and agreed that within the next 15 years, many positive developments could be achieved, such as better marketing, increased consumption and improved knowledge sharing on underutilized species.
In the last session, the group developed operational plans for key intervention areas, namely research, education, demonstration, policy, marketing and (indigenous) knowledge (p 28). The group suggested awareness raising campaigns targeted for various stakeholders, such as policy makers: through a highlevel forum, youths: through radio and school programmes, young mothers: through health centres and village theatre.