ANNUAL REPORT 2019
Celebrating 15 years of crop diversity conservation
Crop varieties added+34K
Food Forever Experiences9
Grants provided for conservation$34.2M
ContributionsUSD 6 M
Accessions Conserved714 K
Updated accessions in Genesys4M
Crop accessions distributed66K
Countries receiving samples97
Sir Peter Crane – Executive Board Chair, Crop Trust
As we transition into a new phase of our work, we can do so confident in our ability to deliver on the vision of our founders.
Stefan Schmitz – Executive Director, Crop Trust
The importance of the global family of genebanks as fail-safes for our planet’s future food supply has never been so apparent.
What we do
The CGIAR Genebank Platform
This Crop Trust-led program ensures that the 11 CGIAR genebanks are running efficiently, that the crop collections they manage are conserved to a high standard, and that as many samples as possible are immediately available when needed.
Collecting Crop Wild Relatives
After six years, 4,644 seed samples of 371 different species of crop wild relatives from all over the world were collected and safeguarded.
Wild Seed, I Think I Love You
The work with crop wild relatives is transitioning from creating new materials to actually growing them in farmers' fields.
What we do
Svalbard Global Seed Vault
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is an iconic reminder of the remarkable effort taking place around the world to conserve the seeds of our food crops.
Supporting National Genebanks
Five genebanks in sub-Saharan Africa are the focus of a new Crop Trust project: Seeds4Resilience.
Strengthening information systems allows users to choose the exact crop diversity they need from thousands of samples.
Securing our Food, Forever
Our global crop conservation strategies describe the current status of conservation of major crop collections, and they attempt to identify the highest priority activities and resources required to safeguard the diversity of different genepools.
The Food Forever Initiative
Food Forever went around the world in 2019 – on a gastronomic and educational voyage – to celebrate the diversity of our foods.
An overview of the activities of the Crop Trust Executive Board and Donors’ Council.
Spreading the Message
Our audience is as diverse as the crop diversity we help safeguard.
Some of humanity’s most valuable global assets are being preserved in perpetuity so future generations can have diverse, healthy foods in increasingly unpredictable climatic conditions.
The Crop Trust deeply appreciates the support and commitment from its many donors, without whom none of our work would be possible.
Running the Numbers
A summary of the financial performance of the Crop Trust and its endowment fund.
“We cannot use crop collections if we do not know what they contain. At the same time, data management evolves all the time. As genebank documentation specialists, we can never rest.”-Matija Obreza, Information Systems Manager, Crop Trust
A stronger Genesys
During 2019, Genesys — the online one-stop shop for information on genebank samples — received a major upgrade. Genebanks can now publish images of accessions, make information available on tailor-made subsets of their collections, and present the results of characterization and evaluation work done on their material.
Search: Full-text search and powerful data filtering mechanisms allow users to explore over four million records of accession passport data from more than 400 collections with ease.
Images: Genebanks can now publish images and other documentation, such as scanned collecting forms, on their accessions. Currently, Genesys hosts 160,000 images of 115,000 accessions from nine CGIAR genebanks.
Subsets: Subsets help users find germplasm by creating made-to-measure groups of accessions that address specific needs. A subset can be determined by end-use (e.g. wheat for tortillas or high-yielding timber trees) or any number of other criteria, from yield potential and nutritional content, to stress tolerance or cultural value. Genesys now hosts 118 subsets, including “the top 20 most distributed potatoes” and “sources of crown rot tolerance in wheat.”
Characterization & evaluation datasets: Genebank staff grow crop varieties in the field and document their attributes as part of their basic operations. These observations are increasingly available on Genesys. Such datasets help to better describe accessions to potential users, making it easier for them to make decisions about what to order.
The Crop Trust has supported a series of Genebank Operations and Advanced Learning (GOAL) workshops on globally accepted standards for genebank management since 2015. In 2019, two GOAL workshops were held on IT practices and data management in genebanks.
A GOAL workshop held in October in Vietnam was hosted by the Plant Resources Center (PRC) of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS, MARD) and supported by the Government of Norway under the Crop Wild Relatives Project and the Crawford Fund of Australia. The workshop brought together data managers from 12 national and regional genebanks in Asia and focused on addressing best practices in genebank documentation management. It also provided an introduction to Genesys and updated participants on new developments in GRIN-Global, a genebank data management software the Crop Trust supports through the Genebank Platform.
A similar GOAL workshop was held in Montevideo, Uruguay from 3-5 December with support from the Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA). Genebank staff from nine South American countries attended this workshop, which was held in Spanish.
Strengthening genebank information systems
Updating information systems is a critical step in strengthening documentation processes in genebanks. Under the Crop Wild Relatives Project supported by the Norwegian Government, experts have visited 37 national and regional genebanks since 2014 to assess the state of documentation management and make recommendations for improvement. Based on these assessments, the Crop Trust has supported 21 genebanks to bring systems up to date. In 2019, the GRIN-Global genebank data management software was introduced at the National Agricultural Research Center in Jordan, and IT infrastructure was upgraded at the National Genebank of Bhutan.