|Description||The overall development goal of the project is to strengthen sustainable livelihoods through improved management and utilization of tropical fruit genetic diversity. The project objective is to improve the conservation and use of tropical fruit genetic diversity in Asia by strengthening the capacity of farmers, local communities and institutions.
The project will bring together local and scientific knowledge about the diversity of key tropical fruit trees to identify, develop and test good practices that will contribute to the conservation of this diversity and associated ecosystems services while improving the livelihoods of farmers and users. In addition, the methods and good practices resulting from the project will provide the scientific and practical foundations necessary for the development of environmental certification schemes to promote the marketability and mainstreaming of tropical fruit diversity. These practices will be disseminated and their adoption fostered in project countries and in other regions. Capacity will be enhanced in project countries to carry out the processes of identification and development, dissemination and adoption of these good practices leading to improved livelihoods and food security of target beneficiaries through the conservation and use of tropical fruit tree genetic resources.
The project will focus on four commercially important tropical fruit species with high diversity levels in the region, both at intraspecific level as well as at species level: citrus (Citrus spp.), mango (Mangifera indica), mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), and rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) as well as their wild relatives. The four countries participating in this project, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, are located in the centers of diversity of these species.
The project will build on methodologies and practices proven effective for conservation of crop genetic diversity, adapt their use for tropical fruit tree species, and test their relevance with farmers, local communities and user groups. The project design considers several factors relevant to conservation of tropical fruit genetic diversity, including its prevalence in home gardens, uses of the wild resources and underutilization of some species due to market forces. It will also look at what varieties, genotypes, or characters are unique to home gardens and how such information can be translated into development efforts. Domestication of economically important fruit diversity from the forests, or using some of the wild relatives for rootstock, and sharing such knowledge and skills with the local community will add value to the project.|