Department of Crop Sciences and Agroforestry

Department profile

Welcome to the website of the Department of Crop Sciences and Agroforestry, one of four departments of the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, focused on tropical plant production. Our department aims to contribute to higher sustainability, productivity and resilience of smallholder’s farming systems in tropical and subtropical regions through increased use of plant resources diversity.

In its teaching the department focuses on production and agroecology of tropical crops with special orientation on traditional and ecological agricultural systems (e.g. agroforestry) as well as modern production methods (e.g. plant biotechnologies) complete with specialized scientific disciplines, such as ethnobotany and chemoecology.

Through its research, the department aims to identifying novel crops (underutilized species with promising economic value) their conservation/domestication and to exploring opportunities for their commercial use. Through this approach we would like to contribute to food security, nutrition and health of the smallholder farming communities in the developing world.
We conduct ethnoecological studies of smallholder’s farming systems with the aim to determine cultivated and wild plant diversity and traditional practices related to production and use of plant resources. Two of our three laboratories focus on crop improvement through biotechnological applications in plant sciences. Molecular biology lab is oriented on genetic characterization of plant resources, whereas tissue culture section focuses on development of novel micropropagation methods for production of genetically identical and healthy planting material. Nutritional, phytochemical and pharmacological research performed by the Laboratory of ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology is focused on identification of new foods with increased nutritional and health benefits as well as on development of high added-value products utilizable in food and pharmaceutical industries.