Securing More of the "Crown Jewels" of Agriculture
The large deposits being made from CIP and CIMMYT, both part of the CGIAR Consortium's global agricultural research partnership, are indicative of the deepening partnership between the CGIAR and the Global Crop Diversity Trust. Crop genebanks maintained by CGIAR centers house 700,000 publicly accessible samples of wheat, maize, rice, potato, banana, sorghum, forages, beans, and many other plants.
"CIMMYT alone already has sent a total of 123,057 maize and wheat accessions and we are well on our way to having 100 percent of our collection duplicated in the seed vault by 2021," said Denise Costich, head of CIMMYT's Maize Germplasm Bank.
While CIMMYT's maize and wheat samples are maintained in its Wellhausen-Anderson Plant Genetic Resources Center in Mexico, they include varieties cultivated around the world and regularly shared with its 700 partner organizations. Overall, in the last 10 years, the 11 CGIAR centers have distributed more than one million samples of crop, forage and agroforestry resources to plant breeders and other researchers to develop new and more resilient varieties.
The CGIAR Consortium, with funding from the CGIAR Fund, recently entered into a US$109 million partnership with the Crop Trust to ensure the quality and availability of the international crop collections, which former Crop Trust executive director Cary Fowler has called the "crown jewels of international agriculture." Their importance is recognized by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture by having a whole article all to themselves.
Every Seed Tells a Story
The sixth anniversary celebrations at the seed vault include several new contributions from the US-based Seed Savers Exchange, which is dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds, each with its own back story.
For example, th
|Contact: Michelle Geis