Annual Report 2015

“The Crop Trust is fortunate to have support from across the world.” Marie Haga
Executive Director of the Crop Trust

Key figures

The Crop Trust Seed Vault

Crop Varieties sent from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to Morocco and Lebanon38,073

Varieties available

Varieties available 572,425

Crop Varieties Available in International Collections

Grant Expenditure Provided for Conservation USD 28.4M

Grant Expenditure Provided to Conserve Crop Diversity Globally
USD 28.4M
Training for collecting

Collecting Guides Developed14

Country Specific Collecting Guides for Crop Wild Relatives Developed
Countries receiving variety samples

Countries receiving samples 114

Number of countries receiving samples from Crop Trust supported collections
Variety records added

Grant Expenditure Provided for Gap Filling USD 1.375M

Grant Expenditure provided in support of collecting and conserving crop wild relatives (including capacity building)
USD 1.375M


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Walter Fust

"Crop diversity is one of the defining issues of our times."
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Marie Haga

"The global system we are building together is all at once inspiring, exciting, and absolutely essential."

What we do Pt. 1

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Global Genebank Partnership

"It is both individual and collective genebank efforts that are bringing crop conservation into the twenty-first century."
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Crop Wild Relatives

"An ambitious idea to adapt agriculture has become a reality."
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Svalbard Global Seed Vault

"The Seed Vault made history in 2015 with the first ever seed retrieval."

What we do Pt. 2

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Information Systems

"Managing data within the walls of a genebank, and sharing that data with the world, are two different, but not isolated, challenges."
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Quality Management Systems

"You set new goals as time goes by, so you are on a constant, steady course of improvement."
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Global Strategies

"Building a global system for conservation requires strategic thinking."

The Crop Trust

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"You set new goals as time goes by, so you are on a constant, steady course of improvement."
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Human resources

Being small in number, we depend on the exceptional competence and commitment of our staff.
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"All our governance activities were organized with a dedication to keeping the Crop Trust’s decision-making open."

Take action

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Take action

"A world that loses diversity, loses options for the future."
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Spreading The Message

"Why is it so important to safeguard crop diversity?"
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Thank you

"We often say that we are a small organization with a big job. We don’t mean it as a complaint; that is how we always planned it to be. It means that we don’t need a lot of support, but our mission does."


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Financial Statement

Grants to conserve crop diversity world wide increased in 2015
USD 25.1 Million
USD 28.4 Million


Crop Trust

Securing our food, forever

The Crop Trust is fortunate to have support from across the world all dedicated to the future of food security, agriculture and biodiversity.

The Crop Trust would like to thank the following people for their support for this year’s annual report: Ambassador Walter Fust, Sir Peter Crane, The Crop Trust Staff, the Genebank Managers of the CGIAR, Paul Cox, Epic Agency, Getty Images Reportage.

Platz der Vereinten Nationen 7
53113 Bonn, Germany

Highlights of the year


What we do Pt. 1

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What we do Pt. 1:

Crop Wild Relatives

The Promise Of Adaptation

The Crop Trust shares a vision, with the Kew Millennium Seed Bank in the UK and many other collaborators in the Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) project, of introducing survival skills from the wild cousins of our food crops to prepare a new generation of crops for climate change. The first step in fulfilling this vision is to find, collect and conserve more of these wild plants before they disappear. The next step is to put that enormous diversity to use through pre-breeding programs that make wild traits available to breeders. Both of these are now happening in a big way.


Collecting agreements are in place with 15 countries where the Gap Analysis conducted in previous years identified high priority areas to collect missing diversity. The first two projects, in Italy and Cyprus, reached their conclusion, and both exceeded their collecting targets. Shipments of seeds reached the Millennium Seed Bank for processing from these countries and six others, adding up to 930 seed collections from 86 taxa.

“Our partners are in the field seeking out wild relatives everywhere, from apples in Azerbaijan to sorghum in Sudan.”


Thanks to partners in nearly 30 countries, 18 pre-breeding projects are now up and running. The envisioned pipeline from the wild to genebank to pre-breeder is starting to be realized with the first onward distribution of collected seeds from the Millennium Seed Bank. Seeds of wild alfalfa relatives collected in Italy in 2014 are now in the hands of pre-breeders at the South Australian Research and Development Institute, who will use them to create new breeding lines that will help cultivated alfalfa withstand severe drought. This initiative also includes partners in Chile, China and Kazakhstan, and is a perfect example of just how global the monumental task of adapting agriculture to climate change needs to be.

Another pre-breeding activity is well underway in Valencia, Spain, using wild relatives of the eggplant. Partners there are crossing 6 local eggplant varieties from Sri Lanka and Côte d’Ivoire with 15 related wild species. Many of the wild species are tough against drought, heat and diseases, or are high in healthy phenolics.

The nearly 60 different combinations obtained from these crosses – the largest number of hybrids ever produced with wild eggplant relatives – will provide the Sri Lankan and Ivorian partners with a formidably diverse set of material for adapting this favorite smallholder vegetable to changing climates.

New Online Presence

The seeds, data, and breeding lines coming out of these efforts will be shared with the world through an overhauled Crop Wild Relatives website. This was launched during the first meeting of 39 global partners in Izmir, Turkey in October. The website is now the locus of ramped up project communications and a powerful medium for sharing data and information about the project. It holds all of the information resulting from the Gap Analysis, so researchers beyond the project can jump in and use the maps and inventory to guide their efforts. Going forward, it will also be an essential resource on the fruits of pre-breeding.

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