Poland and Slovakia are now among a total of 78 national and international contributors to the world’s safety backup for crop diversity, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. This vault contains seeds from almost every country in the world, which are safely stored as a back-up beneath the Arctic permafrost.
Also included in the additions are samples from two returning depositors. The genebank at the Agricultural Plant Genetic Resources Research and Conservation Centre (APGRC) contributed Sudan’s third box since the nation’s first deposit in 2010, protecting over 300 more accessions of sorghum, cowpea, and the forage kikuyu grass. And the genebank of one of CGIAR’s centers, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), contributed its 190th box of seeds, containing samples of lentils and chickpeas, as well as cereals such as wild oats and barley.
The Global Seed Vault
With these new seed deposits, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault now safely houses 992,039 samples from around the world, each a vital piece of the puzzle of safeguarding our food supply.
On top of these new contributions a grant of EUR 10 million from the German Development Bank (KfW) to the Global Crop Diversity Trust was announced on 24 October by Gerd Müller, Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, on the occasion of his visit to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
This allows the Bonn-based Crop Trust to expand its work towards safeguarding the raw materials of agriculture worldwide. The Crop Trust is working to help establish and fund a global system for the conservation of crop diversity. To fulfil its mission, it supports national and international genebanks around the world, as well as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.