Annual Report 2014

“The Crop Trust is an international organization working to safeguard crop diversity, forever.” Marie Haga
Executive Director of the Crop Trust

Key figures

The Crop Trust Seed Vault

Crop varieties added + 38K

Number of new crop varieties added to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault 38,052
International collections of crop diversity

Crop varieties distributed 124K

Samples distributed by international collections of crop diversity 124,084
Value of grants

Grants provided for conservation USD 25,1M

Value of grants Crop Trust provided to the global system for the conservation of crop diversity USD 25,149,745

Contributions + USD 3,7M

Contributions to the Crop Diversity Endowment Fund in 2014 USD 3,780,122
Varieties available

Varieties available 548K

Increase in varieties available in the international collections 497,850 to 548,102
Variety records added

New varieties in Genesys + 430K

Number of varieties added to Genesys in 2014 430,021
Training for collecting

Grants Provided for CollectingUSD 546K

Grants provided in support of collecting (including capacity building) USD 546K
Countries receiving variety samples

Countries receiving samples 112

Number of countries receiving samples from Crop Trust supported collections 112


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Walter Fust

"Plans to secure the future can grow from great ideas into great institutions."
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Marie Haga

"The year was all about convergence, about paths coming together."

What we do

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Global Genebank Partnership

"Genebanks ensure a diverse harvest for the future. The Crop Trust ensures a future of security and quality for genebanks."
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Crop Wild Relatives

"Saving agriculture's wild cousins."
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Information systems

"We need to know what we have in the world's genebanks."
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Svalbard Global Seed Vault

"Deep inside a mountain on a remote island in the Svalbard archipelago, lies a fail-safe, last chance backup facility for the world’s crop diversity."

The Crop Trust

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"To see plans take shape, take a seat at the table with the Executive Board and the Donors’ Council."
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Human resources

"2014 marks the end of an important decade for the Crop Trust."
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"Two special events and a full agenda of other appearances mark a milestone in the life of the Crop Trust."

Securing our food, forever

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Thank you

"We need partners of every size, in every country, with genuine love for every crop that we protect."
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Take action

"Conserving crop diversity is the first and most crucial step to ensuring food security."


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Financial Statement

Grants to conserve crop diversity world wide increased in 2014
USD 23.3 Million
USD 25.1 Million


Crop Trust

Securing our food, forever

The Crop Trust is fortunate to have support from across the world all dedicated to the future of food security, agriculture and biodiversity.

The Crop Trust would like to thank the following people for their support for this year’s annual report: Ambassador Walter Fust, Professor Gebisa Ejeta, The Crop Trust Staff, The Genebank Managers of the CGIAR, Neil Palmer, Paul Cox, Epic Agency.

Platz der Vereinten Nationen 7
53113 Bonn, Germany

Highlights of the year


Securing our food, forever

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Securing our food, forever:

Call to Action

Global food security has become a most pressing global agenda for humanity in the 21st century. The urgency of feeding the near one-billion poor people who live on less than a dollar a day, and go hungry daily has become apparent. Global food insecurity can also challenge people in poor and rich nations.

“We have become a world that is ever more interconnected. We are interdependent in global trade, in share of global resources, and potentially affected by the many natural and man-made events, or policy decisions that take place anywhere in the world.”

Our separate actions tend to have significant ramifications and near-global implications. Severe disruptions in food production in distant geographies have the potential to make the whole planet less secure.

Even with great advances that have been made in science and technology, we continue to be very dependent for our survival on the natural resources around us. Crop biodiversity is a most indispensable natural resource for human survival and sustainability of our civilization. It holds boundless possibilities for securing our future food supply and for making all communities and nations more resilient.

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My own research on unlocking the genetic potential of sorghum to make it even more drought tolerant, resistant to parasitic weeds, and more nutritious, and the gains that we made along the way, have depended on the diversity found in crop gene banks. I am proud of the breakthroughs that we made in our research and the sorghum varieties my colleagues and I created, but I know that they won’t be the last ones farmers will need. Plant breeding and crop improvement are ongoing processes.

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As we find new solutions, other new problems emerge. Our plant genetic resources, and the insect and microorganisms that cause the pests and diseases that threaten farm crops, evolve within the same biome. Natural changes occur regularly and continuously. The science of plant breeding and our plant genetic resources allow us to continually stay ahead of this never-ending struggle. The conservation of crop diversity, therefore, is an essential function, and a commitment that never ends.

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The creation of the Crop Trust and its endowment principles were founded on the premise that such a global entity is needed to secure the basis of the work of plant breeders and geneticists such as myself, which support farmers. Crop breeding and conservation of genetic resources require long, sustained investments. Only by making long-term investments now, can we be certain that diversity will be there when we need it most.

Amount of money in the endowment needed to conserve one variety in international collections, forever.
USD 625

Investments made in the science of plant genetics and plant breeding in the 20th century, have fed the world and saved millions of lives. The discovery of the science of genetics produced the power of modern plant breeding. Society realized this power and potential, and made the commitment and investments for feeding humanity. They were born out of recognition of an imminent crisis, and these actions paid huge dividends and brought about nothing short of a revolution.

In the dawn of the 21st century, we see evidence that our genetic resources could be endangered under the threat of climate change.

“The loss of our biodiversity as a result of severe weather variability could be devastating. It is a potential global crisis in the making that should inspire global commitment for action to avert it.”

We can buy insurance against this threat today by supporting our genebanks. With the global research infrastructure that we have laid out, and the Crop Trust’s vision and endowment, we have put a mechanism in place for that insurance to pay back long-term. A global effort in conservation of our crop diversity can be accomplished, and serve all nations. It would require a renewed commitment, however.

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We need a collective global resolve to protect our genetic resources. The gene banks of our crop genetic resources, the global seed vault, and the Crop Trust need endowment of funds to assure that our crop genetic resources are kept in perpetuity. Funding for this work is badly needed.

Gebisa Eteja
Plant Breeder
Crop Trust Board Member

Prof. Gebisa Ejeta (Ethiopia)

"Prof. Gebisa Ejeta (Ethiopia) is a distinguished professor of plant breeding and genetics and international agriculture at Purdue University. Dr. Ejeta was the recipient of the World Food Prize in 2009 and received a national medal of honor from the president of Ethiopia."

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