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Reuters: Crop Trust Seeks More Funding to Protect Global Seed Diversity

Women sitting with baskets of rice.Coopérative Tradi Bio Malika, a women’s cooperative dedicated to making products from grains, in Beni-Mella, Morocco. (Photo: Michael Major/Crop Trust)

20 April 2024

RABAT, April 20 (Reuters) - Crop Trust, which works to preserve crop bio-diversity, needs to more than double its $300 million endowment fund to be able to support seed banks across the world, Executive Director Stefan Schmitz said.

The non-profit organisation jointly operates the Svalbard Global Seed Vault with Norwegian authorities and offers financial and technical support to smaller seed banks, also known as gene banks, in collecting, preserving and breeding crop varieties.

Amid a surge in conflicts and adverse impacts of climate change "there is an absolutely great sense of urgency to make sure that the entire gene pool of crops is conserved," Schmitz told Reuters.

Speaking on the sidelines of an International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) conference, in Rabat, Morocco, he said increased funding would enable Crop Trust to fully fund ICARDA's gene banks.

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