CFF Research

The aim of CFF’s research is to enhance the development and production of currently underutilised crops, by delivering evidence, knowledge and prototypes of value-added products for public and commercial good. To further this aim, CFF will be responsive to societal demands and open to collaboration and partnerships.
For a quick overview on CFF research work, please watch this video.

Research Objectives
Our objectives are to:
  • Use genetic diversity and genomics to develop viable phenotypes and genotypes of currently underutilised crop species for production in a range of cropping systems.
  • Integrate knowledge of crop type, diversity and agronomy to develop practices to optimise crop performance, quality and resource use efficiency in specific cropping systems.
  • Use a food system approach to identify the major factors influencing nutritional and other desirable qualities of underutilised crop species along the value chain and develop innovative food and non-food products for public and commercial good.
  • Develop an evidence base on underutilised crops to assess their potential contributions to the bioeconomy and food and nutritional security in current and future climates.
  • Communicate the evidence.

Research Priorities
CFF research will focus on key societal challenges of food and nutritional security, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to climate change, the sustenance of biodiversity and the development of the bioeconomy to promote human livelihoods.  CFF has a food system approach that adds value along the whole food chain.

Figure 1 - A food system approach that adds value

Our research is organised in four themes shown below. Details of our research programmes are available by clicking the theme links:

Running through its main four themes, CFF will use its transdisciplinary CONNECT approach to demonstrate three cross-cutting threads:

  • Nutrition: Research to study changes in nutritional quality of underutilised crop species from production through storage and processing to the consumer will demonstrate the nutritional advantages offered by such crops. It will also provide opportunities for interventions within the food system to enhance potential nutritional benefits. Transdisciplinary research will provide an evidence base for the status of nutrition in communities, and the potential role of currently underutilised crops to enhance food and nutritional security.

  • Biodiversity contributions to the bioeconomy: Growing a diverse range of plants in the traditional ‘gardens’ of Southeast Asia and Africa has many potential advantages both in the production phase (e.g. soil erosion and nutrient cycling) and in the diversity of products available for use (e.g. food, feed and fuel). Transdisciplinary research will quantify and model the social and economic benefits of biodiverse agroecosystems.

  • Human capacity and societal development: Qualitative and quantitative analysis of social and economic factors influencing societal acceptance of underutilised crops and associated products will identify constraints to their wider adoption. Transdisciplinary research will identify social, economic and policy interventions required to address these limitations.
An example of our food system approach is the CONNECT project that followed the fate of Bambara groundnut and Moringa crops from the field to food products supplemented with them.

Click here to view CONNECT video.
Work With Us
Passionate about underutilised crops and agricultural biodiversity? CFF provides an excellent platform for you to make a real difference to global challenges.
Our team is a diverse mix of international and national professionals with a range of skills. All of us are working towards achieving our vision to be recognised as a world-leader, delivering excellent, innovative research and knowledge on underutilised crops.
  • Researchers
    CFF welcomes talented researchers at all levels: senior researchers, academicians or postdoctoral researchers that specialise in areas related to our research themes and programmes.
    Research Vacancies
  • Operations
    The CFF operations team provides a responsive and integrated infrastructure that supports the advancements of Crops For the Future.
    Operations Vacancies
  • Internships
    CFF takes great pride in mentoring research students. At CFF, students will interact with highly experienced researchers and will engage with its disciplinary activities that span the whole Research Value Chain.
    Internship Positions