The National Plant Genetic Resources Centre (NPGRC) located at Mount Makulu Research Centre hosts the national genebank and shoulders the overall responsibility for the implementation of the relevant activities under the National Plant Genetic Resources Program. The overall objective of the Plant Genetic Resources Program is the long-term support of agriculture in general, and crop research and development in particular, contributing to improving the yields and quality of crops available for farmers. To achieve this objective, a national seedbank was established with the aim of mobilizing and conserving the maximum genetic variability of indigenous and locally adapted crops, their wild relatives and useful weedy and wild plant species.
NPGRC currently conserves 6,439 accessions from 37 crops. Two thirds of the accessions were collected in the 1980s and 1990s. Crops include, maize, sorghum, millets, rice, finger millet, pearl millet, cowpea, bean and groundnut. Major root and tuber crops (cassava and sweetpotato) and indigenous/local vegetable species have also been collected. A majority of the accessions are traditional varieties or landraces which have evolved through farmers’ selection and are adapted to localized agroecological conditions.
An overview of the plant samples collected in Zambia but possibly conserved elsewhere can be found here.