Annual Report 2016
"2016 was one of the most iconic years in the organization’s history to date."Marie Haga
Executive director of the Crop Trust
Crop varieties added+43K
Crop Wild Relatives collected1,5K
Grants provided for conservationUSD 32,4M
Contributions+ USD 23,9M
Updated accessions in Genesys2,1M
Crop accessions distributed72K
Countries receiving samples102
"We on the Executive Board certainly felt the energy this year, and also the heat."
"Vavilov's insight, that crops are citizens of the world, still holds the power to inspire."
What we do
Global Genebank Partnership
The Crop Trust is building an effective, sustainable global system to conserve the world’s crop diversity forever.
Quality Management Systems
“If you’re a genebank, however small, you need a quality management system. You can’t leave anything to chance. Seeds are too precious.”
Crop Wild Relatives
"The future of food fundamentally depends on these plants, and we all share a common interest in ensuring their productivity and resilience."
What we do
Svalbard Global Seed Vault
“In a rapidly changing world, it’s wonderful to see a renewed commitment from partners to safeguard their resources in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault."
“It doesn’t help to have the most perfect crop collections in the world, if no one knows what they contain. That is why information systems are so important.”
The result of global conservation strategies is an improved understanding of threats to diversity and an actionable strategy for progress.
The Crop Trust
“The Crop Trust is very fortunate to benefit from a multifaceted and inclusive governance structure.”
The Crop Trust is committed to securing our food, together.
"2016 was one of the most iconic years in the organization’s history to date. I am extremely proud of the strides we made in growing our ever-important network of partners."
The effects of climate change put crop diversity front and center. Diverse crops enable farmers to provide adequate food and nutrition, not only for their families but for others as well.
Spreading the message
It matters not what continent we live in, nor where our favorite crop comes from – e.g. maize from Mesoamerica, rice from Southeast Asia, wheat from the Fertile Crescent. We all eat. And we all benefit from crop diversity.
We are deeply grateful for all contributions and pledges of all sizes because they show the continued power of the hope we all share, a hope for a food secure world.
Grants to conserve crop diversity world wide increased in 2016
Securing our food, forever
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 7
The Crop Trust is fortunate to have support from across the world all dedicated to realizing one common vision: a food secure world.
The Crop Trust would like to thank the following people for their support for this year’s annual report: Ambassador Walter Fust, Mary Ann Sayoc, the Crop Trust Staff, Scriptoria, Epic Agency, In Fine Co/Creative Agency and Getty Images Reportage.
53113 Bonn, Germany
A call to action
The vast majority of people who grow the world’s food are smallholder farmers – around 500 million of them. Each of these cultivates less than two hectares of land, or less than a hectare in the case of vegetable farmers. On these small pieces of the Earth they produce food under any and all conditions: poor soil, scarce water, adverse weather conditions, high disease pressure and limited inputs.
One of the biggest challenges that farmers face everywhere is the impact of climate change. Increasing temperatures, extreme weather conditions such as flooding and drought, salinity and rising carbon dioxide levels all change the fundamental rules of growing crops. Pests and pathogens thrive under warmer temperatures and wetter climates. New crop varieties must be ready to face all these stresses and threats from the moment farmers plant their seeds.
The effects of climate change put crop diversity front and center. Diverse crops enable farmers to provide adequate food and nutrition, not only for their families but for others as well. Crop diversity contributes to food security. Planting a variety of crops minimizes the risk of not being able to produce anything at all.
When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in November 2013, 33 million coconut trees were damaged, affecting the livelihoods of more than a million coconut farmers. With their main source of income gone, they had to learn how to plant other crops: they could not wait the six to eight years it takes a coconut tree to become productive.
Intercropping of diverse vegetables and root crops, along with raising small livestock, provided these farmers with alternative produce for both the market and the dinner table. Today, farmers in the typhoon-affected areas continue on this path of crop diversification because it gives them a better source of income and of nutritious food.
I work at a vegetable seed company whose business model is centered on smallholder farmers. These farmers rely on improved varieties to increase yield and productivity, but seed companies also must provide crops that are adapted to the local farming conditions, and meet the demands of the market.
Our goal is not to change the local diet but to develop improved varieties of the traditional vegetables people eat. Breeding objectives include not only increased yield and disease resistance but also quality traits like fruit shape, texture, color and taste. Transportability and shelf life also play a role in bringing more healthy food to more people.
Taken together these different needs might seem overwhelming, but plant breeders can and do find answers to all of them in a diverse pool of genetic resources. Different kinds of crop diversity are in the hands of farmers, indigenous farming communities, international research Centers, national genebanks, academic institutes and private seed companies. All these actors must work together, because when used properly, genetic resources open the door to endless opportunities for farmers.
On the other hand, for these same reasons, the disappearance of crop diversity is a direct and serious threat to the food farmers grow and the food we all eat. Shifts in farming practices, rapid urbanization and climate change have contributed to a precipitous decline in crop diversity. This alarming situation must be met with fast action while the world still has enough diversity to meet the challenges to come.
Because if nothing is done, the cost will not only be paid by 500 million small farmers, but by everybody whose food and nutritional security hangs in the balance. There is no bigger case than that for why crop conservationists in every country have to work together to safeguard and share the world’s crop collections. The Crop Trust is the one organization that is building, and establishing long-term funding for, a global system that will accomplish this. More and more partners are joining us to guarantee the continued availability of diverse crops to all farmers.
While my job is to supply vegetable seeds to rural people in the Philippines, I firmly believe that the biggest tasks and responsibilities facing all of us are global in size. That is why I am part of the Crop Trust, and why I urge you to join the worldwide task of crop conservation wherever and however you can.