Our goal at the Crop Trust is to help ensure the long-term conservation and availability of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. To achieve this ambitious goal, it is essential to know what is in individual genebanks and what diversity is still out in farmer’s fields and in the wild.
For the past 15 years, the key mechanism for doing this has been the global crop conservation strategies. These take stock of where different crop communities stand in terms of conserving and making accessible genetic diversity, by recognizing that the specific actions needed to underpin the conservation of different crops may differ significantly, depending on the biology of the crop, on the representativeness of current collections, and on how these are managed.
The 26 existing conservation strategies are the evidence base which the Crop Trust uses to support ex situ crop diversity conservation around the world. To stay relevant, however, the strategies need to be continuously updated with all relevant new information.
This new project will bring the Crop Trust and our partners and stakeholders up to speed. The project will update the five existing global crop conservation strategies that have been identified by a group of experts as most in need of revamping: potato (Solanum tuberosum), yams (several species), Vigna (several species), millets (several species) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). It will also deliver nine new ones, for groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), cucurbits (several crops in the Cucurbitaceae), temperate forages (several species), sunflower (Helianthus annuus), eggplant (Solanum melongena), pea (Pisum sativum), Pepper & Chilli (several species in Capsicum), Citrus (several species in Citrus), and Brassica crops (several species in Brassica).
The new and updated strategies will make use of all the latest knowledge and information to help plan and prioritize actions to ensure the long-term conservation and availability of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
This 3-year project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) through the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE).