The Genebank Platform

Supporting the core activities of the CGIAR genebanks

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The 11 CGIAR genebanks safeguard a unique global resource of crop and tree diversity and respond to thousands of requests for germplasm from users in more than 100 countries worldwide every year. The goal of the CGIAR Genebank Platform is to conserve these collections and make this diversity available to breeders and researchers in a manner that meets international scientific standards, and that is cost-efficient, secure, reliable, sustainable over the long-term and supportive of the Plant Treaty. The Crop Trust has oversight and financial responsibility for these genebanks. 

The Genebank Platform complements the existing long-term grants which the Crop Trust already provides to most of these genebanks, but has greatly enlarged the Crop Trust’s role and helped to ensure funding is adequate and predictable until the endowment is complete.

Managers of the 11 crop genebanks provide technical and financial reports to the Platform through an Online Reporting Tool. Nineteen agreed Performance Indicators are being monitored for each of the crop collections involved. Some of these can be seen on our interactive map

The monitoring of genebank performance also includes external technical and financial reviews every five years to ensure that the collections are running efficiently and effectively. The recommendations from these reviews guide the development of plans to tackle the specific technical and financial challenges in the conservation and use of the collections.

The Genebanks

Africa Rice

Bioversity International










Management Team (MT)

The oversight of the CGIAR Genebank Platform is provided by the Crop Trust under the guidance of a Management Team. However, the day-to-day implementation of the Platform’s activities is performed by the individual managers of CGIAR genebanks and germplasm health units and by CGIAR policy experts.

  • Thomas Payne

    Head, Wellhausen-Anderson Wheat Genetic Resources Collection, CIMMYT

    Thomas Payne’s contributions to CIMMYT through the genetic resources and global wheat programs are wide-ranging, focusing on the conservation, access to and benefit sharing of the enhanced use of germplasm. His tenure with CIMMYT includes postings in Ethiopia, Mexico, Syria, Turkey and Yugoslavia, which have sensitized him towards the importance of cultural diversity, respect and collaborations. He has been a strong advocate of integrative teamwork that reaches out beyond institutional barriers. He manages CIMMYT’s wheat germplasm bank and International Wheat Improvement Network, which serves researchers and breeders from more than 100 countries.

  • Noelle Anglin

    Head of Genebank, CIP

    Noelle Anglin, an American national, has been working as a Genetic Resources Conservation Scientist in the genebank team since joining CIP in February 2015. She has contributed to reinforce the International Potato Center’s (CIP’s) vision to conserve, expand, characterize and distribute the world’s largest collection of roots and tubers for the benefit of humankind, and contributed to the delivery research and information products for the program.

  • Lava Kumar

    Head, Germplasm Health Unit/Virologist, IITA; Coordinator of CGIAR GHUs

    Lava Kumar is the Head of the Germplasm Health Unit, and Virology and Molecular Diagnostics Unit at IITA. His research programs are focused on (a) protecting germplasm health from pathogens and pests; (b) tackling virus diseases of IITA crops, cacao, and vegetables; (c) developing convenient diagnostic tools for identification of pathogens, pests and mycotoxins; and (d) conducting training courses and workshops in plant disease diagnostics and control, and also higher degree training, leading graduate and postgraduate students to M.Sc. or Ph.D. degrees.

  • Michael Halewood

    Leader, Genetic Resources Policies, Institutions and Monitoring group, Bioversity International; Coordinator of Policy Module

    Head of the ‘Policies for crop and tree diversity management’ research area, Michael focuses on policy research and capacity-strengthening, usually in the context of multi-stakeholder projects in developing countries. His current research includes institutional and policy support for agricultural biodiversity commons from local to global scales, institutional and policy support for improving availability of seed of enhanced farmers’ varieties; mechanisms for enhancing availability and use of crop diversity through combined formal and informal seed systems; farmers’ rights and implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

  • Mariana Yazbek

    Genebank Manager, Lebanon, ICARDA

    Mariana joined ICARDA in 2013 and became the manager of the genebank at Terbol station in Lebanon in 2017.

  • Charlotte Lusty

    Genebank Platform Coordinator, Crop Trust

    As Genebank Platform Coordinator Charlotte leads the Crop Trust in overseeing the technical and financial management of the CGIAR genebanks. Previously, Charlotte worked at Bioversity International in France; the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Center in the UK; and the Jane Goodall Institute in Tanzania. Charlotte has co-authored several publications.

  • Luigi Guarino

    Director of Science, Crop Trust

    Luigi leads the Crop Trust’s Science Team and oversees the organization’s programmatic work. The author of some 30 refereed articles and more than 10 conference presentations, Luigi co-authors one of the most eminent Twitter accounts and blogs on crop diversity conservation in the world, AgroBioDiversePrior to his role at the Crop Trust, Luigi worked for the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR) in the Middle East; Bioversity International’s Regional Offices in Nairobi, Kenya and Cali, Colombia; and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Fiji.



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