What does CFF Research focus on?

We focus on where underutilised crops have the potential to meet real world challenges and achieve sustainable agricultural systems by helping to:
  • Expand the range of crop species that sustain humanity
  • Diversify the agricultural systems in which they are grown
  • Enhance nutritional and income security through dietary diversification
  • Respond to climate change with more climate-resilient crops and cropping systems
  • Provide new agro-industrial products and processes 

Research Themes

CFF research programmes each span research themes across a Research Value Chain (RVC) from fundamental genetics through to end users and policies.
  • Biotechnology & Crop Genetics
    Applying biotechnology for the genetic improvement of underutilised crops through a focused attempt to access germplasm resources, translate information from minor and model species and understand traits involved in crop resilience.
    Research Theme Leader
    Research Theme Coordinator
  • Breeding & Agronomy
    Identifying high value, yield and efficient resource use traits of underutilised crops, harnessing their genetic variability to develop them into commercial varieties adapted to different growing conditions and cropping systems. Research and manipulation of abiotic (light, air, water, soil, nutrient) and biotic factors (flora, fauna, microbe) and their interactions for sustainable crop production.
    Research Theme Leader
    To be announced
    Research Theme Coordinator
    To be announced
  • Agrometeorology & Ecophysiology
    Research into the interactions of the environment with a range of farming and cropping systems that contain underutilised crops. This includes testing the incorporation of underutilised crops to develop sustainably productive systems under a range of conditions. Both field experiments and models are used to optimise the outcomes under future climates.
    Research Theme Leader
    To be announced
    Research Theme Coordinator
    To be announced
  • Nutrition & Bioproducts
    Focuses on ensuring all underutilised crops researched at CFF benefit communities either by supplementing nutrition, or by providing economically useful bioproducts to grow incomes.
    Research Theme Leader
    To be announced
    Research Theme Coordinator
    To be announced
  • Social, Economic & Policy
    Examines social and economic practices, institutional arrangements and regulatory frameworks related to the production and use of underutilised crops. This increases our understanding of the current role of underutilised crops in rural livelihoods, farming systems and agricultural value chains and contributes to the development of strategies to increase their use in sustainable and appropriate development.
    Research Theme Leader
    To be announced
    Programme Manager

Research Programmes

Our research programmes provide critical mass for research on specific underutilised crops and show how such approaches can be applied to other underutilised crops or agriculture more generally.
  • BamYIELD Download PDF
    A model international underutilised legume research and breeding programme. 
    Programme Director
    Programme Coordinator
     
  • CropBASE Download PDF
    Integrating qualitative and quantitative knowledge on underutilised crops into decision support systems.
    Programme Director
    Vacant
    Senior Programme Coordinator
    Programme Support Manager
    Vacant
  • FishPLUS Download PDF
    Incorporating functional ingredients into aquaculture feed.
    Programme Director
    Programme Coordinator
    Vacant
    Programme Manager
     
  • FoodPLUS Download PDF
    Traceability of micronutrients from soils to end users
    Programme Director
    Vacant
    Programme Coordinator
    To be announced
    Programme Manager
     
  • SAGEPLUS 
    Diversification of agricultural landscapes using underutilised crops.
    Programme Director
    Field Experiment Coordinator
    Vacant
    Programme Support Manager
    Vacant

Research Team

Researchers

Prof. Chin Ong
PROF. CHIN ONG
PROGRAMME DIRECTOR, SAGEPLUS
DR SEAN MAYES
Dr Sean Mayes
Theme Leader, Biotechnology and Crop Genetics 
Programme Director, BamYIELD
Co-Director, CFFPLUS Scheme 
MAX HERRIMAN
MAX HERRIMAN
Programme Director, FishPLUS
Advisor, Advisory & Consulting 
Dr Ebrahim Jahanshiri 
Programme Coordinator, CROPBASE
DR HO WAI KUAN
Dr Ho Wai Kuan
Theme Coordinator, Biotechnology and Crop Genetics
Dr Aryo Feldman
Dr Aryo Feldman
Senior Programme Coordinator, BamYIELD
Dr Kumar Katya
Senior Researcher, FishPLUS


Programme Support Managers

Giva Kuppusamy
Giva Kuppusamy
Programme Manager, FishPLUS
Advina Julkifle
Advina Julkifle
Programme  Manager, FoodPLUS
Hilda Hussin
Programme Manager, Social, Economic & Policy Theme


Research Facilities

Currently nearing completion, the CFF Headquarters (HQ) and its facilities and landscapes have been designed to be iconic, inspiring and in harmony with nature.
HEADQUARTERS
Designed by Kumpulan Akitek; the HQ will comply with the Green Building Index (GBI) and will provide green energy efficient and state-of-the-art facilities. The HQ will include three iconic "glulam" enclosed domes to host:
  • Central Administration and Visitor Centre
  • Research Support and Meeting Spaces
  • Laboratories
The Laboratory Dome includes high-quality controlled environment rooms for research on climate change impacts on underutilised crops. Using smart concepts and green technologies, the HQ uses locally-sourced biomaterials to minimise its carbon footprint. The surrounding landscapes and Demonstration Zones, will showcase CFF research programmes and themes. 
Field Research Centre (FRC)
CFF’s Field Research Centre (FRC) provides proof-of-concept transition from a monoculture oil palm plantation to a diversified, sustainable and economically viable field site research facility for underutilised crops and cropping systems. The FRC has laboratories and equipment for field and environmental measurements, offices for field-based staff and students, workshop and storage facilities. These will include laboratories for measuring plant material and related soil, physiological and environmental equipment, cold rooms and a seed store. A secured area of about 8 hectares has been fenced for field experiments.
The FRC will develop research approaches and expertise on experimental management that span crops, cropping systems and traditional disciplinary boundaries. By building multidisciplinary expertise and facilities, the FRC will act as a model for the development of similar field-based research facilities elsewhere, especially in developing regions of the tropics.

Consulting

Consulting

World leading research on underutilised crops with global impact for development.
CFF provides global network of excellence on underutilised crops and agricultural diversification. This alliance of international experts supported by a comprehensive database of expertise and contacts,  is available for consulting assignments. CFF Consultants will provide services for potential research and commercialisation of underutilised crops and agricultural diversification. We welcome engagement with partners who wish to apply our Research Value Chain approach to address major agricultural challenges through the wider use of underutilised crops. This expertise will support CFF in its wider role of 'developing solutions for future agriculture’ through engagement with the agricultural and agribusiness sectors, sponsors, investors, public agencies and the national and international media.

CFFPLUS

In 2013, CFF and the University of Nottingham launched the CFFPLUS joint Scholarship Programme - the largest single commitment ever made to support research studentships on underutilised crops.
CFFPLUS provides full or partial funding for over 300 ‘postgraduate years’ of scholarships for PhD and Masters by Research (MRes) students registered at the University of Nottingham on research studies that ‘Provide Links to Underutilised Species’.

CFFRC Plus
In addition to the University of Nottingham, discussions are ongoing with invited national and international universities to join CFFPLUS as founding partners and through which registered students may receive ‘dual-awards’ from the University of Nottingham and approved partner institutions.
All CFFPLUS students can be based in Malaysia, at partner locations where the institution is the degree awarding authority or through split-site arrangements between CFF, UNMC and partner institutions.
The following are key features of the CFFPLUS scheme:
  • Students from all nationalities are eligible for CFFPLUS scholarships. However, a minimum of 10% of the awards will be for students from Africa and the developing countries of the Commonwealth that are eligible for the University of Nottingham’s flagship ‘Developing Solutions’ scheme. These individuals will be recognised as ‘CFF DevSol Scholars’.
  • Prospective students must apply for specific CFFPLUS PhD or MRes studentships that have been selected by the CFFPLUS committee and awarded to successful academic supervisors. The studentships will be advertised through the Schools and Faculties of award winners as well as through the University of Nottingham and CFF websites.
If you'd like to know more, please contact CFFPLUS DTP Manager, Dr Maysoun Mustafa at maysoun.mustafa@cffresearch.org or visit CFF-UNMC DTP website.

Resources

Compilation of papers presented at symposiums / conferences by CFF's team, continue reading here

 For more information related to underutilised plants, continue reading here
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