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About Peter & Odila Griffee

Peter Griffee

Peter retired from the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome in April 2006 as Senior Officer for industrial crops (oilseeds, medicinal and aromatic plants, bio-fuels, fibres, beverages, elastomers, etc.)

Some of Peter’s major activities at FAO included:

CV Highlights

44 years of post-graduate multidisciplinary experience in production of annual and perennial crops generally; including major and underutilized species. Retired April 2006 from being a senior officer, industrial crops, at FAO, Rome.


1966 MSc (honours) in Agronomy – Bath University, 1967; MSc (distinction) in Plant Pathology – Imperial College, London; 1982 Diploma in Forestry Planning and Management – Oxford University. Various management courses during career.



Resided in: Zambia (3 years), St. Lucia (3), Brazil (19), Tunisia (3), Italy (16).

Worked in: (from a few days to over 1 month); Austria, Bolivia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Honduras, Hungary, India, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Martinique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Swaziland, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Windward Is., Switzerland, UK, USA.

Worked with: (on projects); Afghanistan, Algeria, Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Dominica, Egypt, Ghana, Latvia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panamá, Paraguay, Rep. Congo, Sierra Leon, Syria, Togo, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, To be continued…

Employers (main)

Crops (Industrial)

Perennial and regenerative

Crops (Food)

Maize, wheat, sorghum, vegetables, grapes, bananas, citrus, etc.

Crops (Underutilized species)

My main work on underutilized species began in 1987 when I represented industry (through the Ultra Group) in the Brazilian CNPq (National Research Center) programme on ‘pioneer crops’. This continued in the Ultra Group as I worked with novel species for fatty acids for the chemical industry such as Cuphea sp. The work intensified when I joined FAO where I work closely with the International Center for Underutilized Crops (ICUC), the Purdue NewCROP Programme and represent FAO as the alternate chair of the Global Facilitation Unit for Underutilized Species (GFU) housed at IPGRI. In this respect I represented FAO/GFU at the Swaminatham workshop on underutilized species and the Millennium Development Goal of Hunger and Poverty which concentrated on food species. In the resulting Chennai Declaration I was instrumental in introducing medicinal plants, bio-fuels, cultivars and climate change to the final version. To be continued…


Project formulation and management (in environments from semi-arid through moist savannah to humid tropics), genetic resource collection and evaluation, breeding, trials management, research, propagation, pest management, irrigation, production & processing, marketing, environmental protection, agro-forestry, diversification, mixed cropping systems, IT, data bases, resource management, economics, training, literature reviews.

Representations for FAO


Modern Coconut Management, Small Holder Oil Palm Manual, Sweet Sorghum Training Manual, Genetic Improvement of Cacao (Portuguese and English), Natural Rubber, Sesame & Safflower journals, Organic Production of Medicinal, Aromatic and Dye Plants, Artemisia annua; the plant, production, processing and medicinal applications, Crop Biotech Bites, many Internet species monographs, many papers.

Odila Griffee

Taught economics in the Faculdade de Ciências Políticas e Econômicas do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and has traveled around the world with her husband Peter and her sons Simon and Beto.

Archive of Field Notes

Countries Worked In