Global Crop Diversity Trust

A Foundation for Food Security

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The crop diversity found in genebanks has been assembled from farmers’ fields all over the world, and also from the wild in the case of forages, gathered food plants and the relatives of crops.  Rare and potentially important diversity continues to disappear from farmers’ fields and from the wild as agricultural priorities and practices change and environmental pressures intensify. Any one of these threatened varieties and populations could possess traits which could be useful for the development of new varieties suitable for the agricultural needs of the future. Even when collected and placed in genebanks, diversity is still far from from safe. Collecting began in the 1920's, yet there is still a significant amount of diversity not represented in any genebank.  Particularly poorly represented are those crops of primary importance for the poor, but which are neglected by mainstream research.

The Trust is supporting efforts to collect diversity missing from collections so it may be secured in genebanks and remain available for future use. Experts have often pointed out that  some important crop collections held in developing countries were threatened, and in urgent need of regeneration. The Trust has supported the urgent regeneration of critical priority collections of the world’s most important crops. The Trust also occasionally provides support to genebanks following natural disasters or other emergencies.

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