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
Global Genebank Partnership
Crop collections come in all shapes and sizes, which is a good thing. Not one collection can safeguard our planet’s millions of crop varieties, landraces and wild relatives, or put their diversity to use.
As we see it, the global system of crop conservation stands on three pillars: a small group of international collections; a larger group of national and regional collections; and a failsafe backup for all seed collections, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
These three pillars already stand, and we are working to make all three stronger. This means ensuring long-term conservation happens in the most effective, cost-efficient and reliable manner possible, so that crop diversity will always be available.
The CGIAR Genebanks
As one pillar of the global system, the CGIAR genebanks contain some of the largest and most diverse collections of crop diversity in the world. Together, they hold this diversity in trust for humanity, under Article 15 of the Seed Treaty.
2016 marked the conclusion of the Crop Trust’s first five-year partnership with all 11 CGIAR genebanks, the CGIAR Research Program for Managing and Sustaining Crop Collections (or the Genebank CRP). Through the Genebank CRP we supported the core operations of these facilities to ensure the long-term conservation and availability of the 750,000 crop accessions they manage on behalf of the global community. We ensured that these genebanks will receive adequate and reliable annual funding, which has allowed them to plan more effectively for the long term future and achieve real improvements in the present.
For a crop collection to safeguard crop diversity in perpetuity requires financial security to employ the best staff, support operations and acquire the necessary tools and technology to improve efficiency and respond quickly to users’ needs.
The Genebank CRP provided this security. Its donors clearly recognized what an impact it had made, and they gave their full support to a new six-year program, the CGIAR Genebank Platform. Through this, the Crop Trust will build on the work of the Genebank CRP through to 2022.
CGIAR genebank activities in 2016:
In 2016, ICARDA planted out an unprecedented 18,000 accessions of wheat, barley, lentil, chickpea, faba bean, forages and various crop wild relatives to begin to reconstitute their active collections. This material came from ICARDA’s secure back-up in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, marking the first-ever withdrawal from the Seed Vault to date.
Our interactive story, Something Worth Fighting For, describes the incredible commitment of the genebank staff in ensuring the survival of these unique collections in the face of war. The ICARDA genebank is now operating out of new facilities in Morocco and Lebanon, thanks to support from the CGIAR System Organization through the Genebank CRP.
The Crop Trust’s coordinating efforts have seen numerous improvements, large and small, that change the way the CGIAR genebanks operate. To name just a few:
- Africa Rice is building a new facility in Côte d’Ivoire for its unparalleled collection of African rice diversity. This upgraded genebank with mobile shelving is under construction with the support of the Genebank CRP and the African Development Bank, and will greatly improve the quality of long-term seed storage.
- The implementation of barcoding in multiple genebanks is set to dramatically reduce chances of errors in labeling of crop accessions.
- Mobile devices have improved access to information in the field and reduced time spent in transcribing hand-written field notes.
- Analysis of longevity data is being used to test seed viability more strategically.
- New field locations for regeneration have improved seed production, including of crop wild relatives.
- Purchase of new equipment has improved drying and storage operations.
The big event of the year for the CRP is the Annual Genebank Meeting (AGM), where the managers of the CGIAR genebanks meet with each other and partners to share results, experiences and ideas. This year’s meeting was hosted by the Australian Grains Genebank in Horsham and Melbourne. You can read more about this meeting in our Events section.