The Crop Trust is working to fund a global system for the conservation of crop diversity, forever. This will help ensure that we have enough food despite a growing world population and a rapidly changing climate.
Costing studies have shown that it would take USD 34 million a year to fund a global system for the conservation of crop diversity. A USD 850 million Crop Diversity Endowment Fund would produce an average return USD 34 million per year.
This might seem like a lot of money, but it is not. Especially when you compare it to other projects across the world.
In 2013, the 28 OECD countries provided roughly USD 135 billion in development funding. To complete funding for the Crop Diversity Endowment Fund, it would take much less than 1% of that.
The New York Times building cost USD 850 million to construct. NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels currently under construction could cost more than USD 1 billion. Again, the Crop Diversity Endowment Fund could be completely funded with the same, or even smaller, amount of money.
Securing crop diversity is even cheaper when you consider that funding for the Endowment Fund should come from all the governments of the world. The Crop Trust’s Funding Strategy suggests a fair opportunity sharing to spread the cost of fulfilling the endowment among about 50 countries in the world. Conserving crop diversity is also an economic investment as shown by the following papers:
- Valuing insurance services emerging from a gene bank: The case of the Greek Gene Bank
- Crop Genetic Resources: An Economic Appraisal
- Genetic Resources: Assessing Economic Value
Support from private sector companies, organizations and foundations is also essential and will help the Crop Trust reach its funding needs.
Individuals might think that USD 850 million is far too big of a fund for a small donation to have an impact. In fact, any type of support has an impact. On average it costs just USD 625 invested today to conserve a single crop variety in an international collection, forever.
When support comes from the governments of the world, private sector companies, organizations, foundations and individuals, funding the Crop Diversity Endowment Fund, and in-hand securing crop diversity forever, isn’t that tall of a task. In fact, if every single person in the world donated just 12 cents, the Crop Diversity Endowment Fund would be fully funded. Not everyone can afford to donate, but everyone must be afforded security of the human right to food for the future. Conserving crop diversity is the first and most crucial step to ensuring food security.