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.
Svalbard Global Seed Vault
“In October 2019, packed into 95 sealed boxes, 30,000 seed samples found a new home in Svalbard. ”-
Newcomers Poland and Slovakia joined by returning depositors
In 2019, the Seed Vault received deposits on four separate occasions from eight institutions, including two first-time depositors: the National Agricultural and Food Centre of Slovakia and the Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute (IHAR) of Poland.
The second-largest in the European Union, Poland’s national genebank at IHAR holds over 75,000 samples of crop diversity. With its first deposit to Svalbard, including varieties of wheat and barley, two of the world’s most important food crops, Poland began the process of duplicating a critical collection of plant genetic resources. Slovakia, an early contributor to the Crop Trust endowment fund, is now entering a new phase of collaboration with its first shipment to the Seed Vault. Samples deposited included oats, vetch and emmer wheat.
Returning depositors included the Agricultural Plant Genetic Resources Research and Conservation Centre (APGRC), who contributed Sudan’s third box since the nation’s first deposit in 2010, protecting over 300 more accessions of sorghum, cowpea, and the forage kikuyu grass. The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), contributed its 190th box of seeds, containing samples of lentils and chickpeas, and cereals such as wild oats and barley.
An upgrade from the North Sea
After 10 years of operation, the Norwegian Government decided to implement a number of improvements to the Seed Vault, due to recurrent minor leaks in the entrance tunnel during the snow melting season. In accordance with technical advice, the Norwegian Government invested 200 million NOK (20 million EUR) in an upgrade of the facility.
The project, completed at the end of 2019, included a new watertight access tunnel, improved security procedures, and the installation of a more efficient new cooling system. To build and seal the new access tunnel, the construction team turned to technology used by Norway’s oil and gas industry on oil platforms in the North Sea. In addition, a new parking lot and office building were constructed, and a communications campaign will be launched in 2020 to generate greater awareness of the Vault’s global importance.