The Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project

Published on 19 November 2012

Research Areas

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Start Date: 28 April 2012 | End Date: 28 April 2017


The Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project – officially the “Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use for Improved Human Nutrition and Well-being” project – is a global multi-country, multi-partner project launched to address growing concerns over the rapid disappearance of agricultural biodiversity, particularly traditional crops and wild species with nutritional potential, in four countries: Brazil, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Turkey. The project is also concerned with the disappearance of the traditional knowledge associated with the preparation, storage and cultural use of these foods, which, in the past, made up a significant proportion of local diets.

Bringing together a wide range of national and international partners from the environment, agriculture, nutrition, health and education sectors, the project will build on growing evidence showing that agricultural biodiversity has the potential to fulfill many of the nutritional requirements needed for a healthy and balanced diet and thus can help reverse the alarming trends in under- and over-nutrition afflicting many countries worldwide. The evidence will be used to conserve and promote the use of these species in the four countries by:

  • Raising awareness of their importance
  • Creating markets and value chains for their use
  • Making sure that future policies and strategies that tackle malnutrition include the sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity as a cost-effective solution to rising diet-related nutrition and health conditions – such as nutrient deficiencies and obesity

The global multi-country-led project will make possible the exchange of experiences, tools and mechanisms and stimulate the identification of lessons learned and best practices that can be built upon as a global project. For example, in Brazil significant linkages have already been established between the agriculture, health and education sectors, which provide models and examples for the other countries participating in this project. Likewise, in Kenya efforts to enhance linkages between farmers and markets based on the nutritionally-superior African Leafy Vegetables provide excellent lessons and good practices for other participating countries. By bringing these experiences and practices together in a global context, the project will be able to facilitate considerable South-to-South cooperation and sharing, as well as potential for replication and scaling-up of these outputs and results beyond the project countries.

National partners


  • Ministry of Environment (MMA)
  • Ministry of Agrarian Development (MDA)
  • Ministry of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger (MDS)
  • Ministry of Health (MS)
  • National Food Supply Company (CONAB)
  • Ministry of Education/National Fund for Education Development (MEC/FNDE)


  • Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
  • Ministry of Medical Services
  • National Museums of Kenya

Sri Lanka

  • Ministry of Environment
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Health
  • Department of National Botanic Gardens
  • Universities of Ruhuna, Peradeniya and Wayamba
  • NGOs: Green Movement of Sri Lanka, Community Development Centre and Seva Lanka Foundation


  • Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA)
  • Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MOEF)
  • Turkish Association for the Protection of Nature (TTKD)

International partners

Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the initiative is coordinated by Bioversity International with implementation support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Given the cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary nature of this project, additional support is coming from the World Food Programme (WFP); the Earth Institute, Columbia University; Crops for the Future; the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and AVRDC – The World Vegetable Centre in facilitating both implementation and scaling up of activities.

For further information please visit the project website, download the BFN Project Flyer, or subscribe to the BFN Project Newsletter.



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4 Responses to “The Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project”

  1. immaculate nzila kieti says:

    goodevening,am a nurtitionist with great passion for native foods and culture from eastern part of kenya.can i add value to the biodiversity for food and nutrition project by show casing to you the indigenous foods we have from the akamba currently organizing for the biggest cultural fair in kenya for the akamba people in machakos main goal is to promote food and nutrition culture of consuming indegenous foods by showcasing our indigenous foods from the akamba people and promote the cultivation and consumption of traditional foods,all this starting from the food crops,wild animals and birds,wild fruits and vegetables.other aspects of the akamba community culture will also be showcased.
    will appreciate your feebback.

  2. immaculate nzila kieti says:

    hi biodiversity for food and nutrition project,karibu ukambani,precisely machakos county,lets come together and come up with a document for native foods from my loved region. we have got lots of indigenous nutritive foods to share with you.the document will help us share more information with the local community and encourage them to cultivate and consume these native foods.

  3. JANE MWANZIA says:

    hi, i am so much interested with matters to do with food security. i am a Kenyan and have been involved in different Projects on food security with SASACID, CTA and CAADP. i am in my final semester in Kenyatta university taking BSC.Agribusiness management and trade. i would so much love to be part of your project. looking forward for a positive reply.Kindly

  4. Osozi says:

    Iam a finalist student at egerton university and iam taking food nutrition and dietetics .i love your project and would like to be included

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