The use of the term "underutilized" or "underused" raises inevitably questions onwhat it is exactly meant by such terms, having thus repercussions on the understanding of which are those species falling into such a category. Some definitions need therefore to be given in order to avoid possible mis-interpretations.According to IPGRI (Padulosi 1998) underutilized crops are
those species grownin local production systems, where they are highly adapted to a range of ecological niches
. What makes them different from other crops (‘major’) is the fact that
their economic potentials have been poorly addressed, thus their role is confined into mostlytraditional/local uses
only. The word "underutilized" however does not explicitly carrywith it those concepts that need to be stressed when addressing these species: morespecifically, it does not highlight the fact that these species are often poorly addressed byresearch and conservation efforts. Another term, "neglected", is therefore often used tostress such points, but this word itself is generally interpreted as loaded with somenegative significance ("
if it is neglected it must be for a good reasons
.") as it has beenrecently reiterated during a recent IPGRI-EUCARPIA Workshop on underutilized speciesheld few days ago in Viterbo, Italy). The term "underutilized" is therefore generally preferred over "neglected". The use of the term "minor crops" is also rather frequent in