USD 33 M
in grants provided to fund
The Crop Trust and its partners conducted a wide variety of program activities in 2021, including the CGIAR Genebank Platform, the Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) Project, the Seeds for Resilience Project, the new BOLD Project and the development of global crop conservation strategies.
THE FUTURE OF DIVERSITY SECURED
USD 8 M
contributed to the Crop Diversity Endowment Fund
The total estimated value of the endowment fund amounted USD 339 million as of the end of 2021 as a result of contributions from USAID, the Government of New Zealand, the Government of Germany, the Government of India and Group Limagrain, as well as continuing successful market performance.
DIVERSITY SAFELY BACKED UP
seed samples added to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault
As of December 2021, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault safeguarded 1,125,419 seed samples from 89 genebanks and research institutions worldwide.
records of genebank samples updated in Genesys in 2021
As of December 2021, Genesys made 4,257.039 records of genebank samples publicly available for users worldwide to request plant materials and conduct invaluable research.
new crop-wild-relative-derived varieties of durum wheat and one each of alfalfa and potato released to farmers
During the final phase of the 11-year CWR Project, more than 14,000 pre-bred lines of 19 crops incorporating useful traits from crop wild relatives were made available to plant breeders, researchers and farmers to further adapt agriculture to climate change.
countries received 96,590 samples of seed and plantlets from genebanks in the CGIAR Genebank Platform
The 11 CGIAR genebanks, supported by the Genebank Platform coordinated by the Crop Trust, have distributed nearly 1 million samples of seeds and plantlets to 166 countries since 2012, when the Crop Trust started coordinating the program.
Highlights of the year
Crop Science Special Issue Shows Why Crops Need to Get Wild
This special edition is devoted to research conducted by the Crop Trust-led Crop Wild Relatives Project.
Strawberry Seeds Deposited at the First Svalbard Global Seed Vault Opening of 2021
Among the first deposits of 2021 were seeds of watermelon, strawberry and pumpkin.
Vision for 2030: Closing the Gap Between Ideal and Reality
Genebank Resilience Tested as Pandemic Enters Second Year
Genebanks faced many challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Germany and the Crop Trust expand cooperation
Germany and the Crop Trust expand their cooperation to help safeguard global crop diversity in perpetuity.
Saving Hard-to-Conserve Food Crops
The Plant Treaty and the Crop Trust co-organized a virtual expert panel “Cryopreservation: a long-term strategy for hard-to-conserve plant genetic material for food and agriculture in a post-COVID world”.
Virtual Workshop on “Unlocking” the Value in Germplasm Collections
Scientists from across the CGIAR, and its partner and donor organizations met in July 2021 to identify opportunities for enhancing use of crop germplasm collections.
UNFSS Pre-Summit Addresses Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems
The Crop Trust participated in the Pre-Summit to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and delivered game-changing solution for conserving agrobiodiversity.
Crop Trust and WorldVeg Join Efforts to Bring More Vegetables to the Table
The Crop Trust and WorldVeg strengthen their partnership to conserve and make available vegetable diversity.
Regaining Momentum for Agrobiodiversity Conservation at the UN Food Systems Summit
The Crop Trust played a leading role in the “Agrobiodiversity Cluster” and both the Scientific Group and the Finance “Lever of Change” of the Summit.
Banking on Crop Diversity for Food Security in the Face of Climate Change
Groundbreaking 10-year, USD 58 million project launches to secure future food security and climate resilience globally.
Announcing Support to Back up Crop Collections in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault
The Crop Trust and its partners announced the launch of a competitive grant scheme to support the backing up of crop diversity in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
Svalbard Global Seed Vault Reopens for Final Deposit of 2021
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault welcomed 50 boxes containing 14,011 seed samples, bringing the total in the vault to 1,125,416.
Protecting Your Halloween Pumpkin from Climate Change
The new Global Crop Conservation Strategy for Cucurbitaceae provides a road map for the coordinated conservation of this important and widely beloved plant family.
Crop Trust and the Plant Treaty launch lifeline for genebanks to secure the future of crop diversity
The Crop Trust and the Plant Treaty Secretariat launched an emergency fund for genebanks facing urgent threats to their precious contents.
Crop Trust Executive Director Stefan Schmitz at GLF Climate: We Depend on Seeds for Survival
The Crop Trust’s Executive Director, Stefan Schmitz, delivers a keynote speech about the importance of crop diversity to food security.
2nd International Agrobiodiversity Congress
The Crop Trust hosted a virtual side event to the Agrobiodiversity Congress, a “Genebanks: Hedging bets for tomorrow’s agri-food economies”.
A Year of Great Hope
2021 reflections by Stefan Schmitz, Crop Trust Executive Director.
Catherine Bertini New Chair of the Crop Trust’s Executive Board
World Food Prize Laureate Catherine Bertini assumes leadership of the Executive Board of the Crop Trust.
What we did
Crop Wild Relatives Project Delivers Beyond Expectation
The 11-year Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) project, funded by the Government of Norway, came to an end in 2021 after achieving or exceeding all of the goals it had set, including releasing several new crop varieties derived from crop wild relatives.
Building BOLDly on Success
Launched in September 2021, Biodiversity for Opportunities, Livelihoods and Development (BOLD) is a 10-year project, funded by the Government of Norway, that will build on the successes and achievements of the Crop Wild Relatives Project to strengthen food and nutrition security worldwide.
Breakthroughs in Breeding Grasspea and Finger Millet
The project, “Safeguarding crop diversity for food security: Pre-breeding complemented with Innovative Finance,” funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc., made major strides in developing new crosses in grasspea and finger millet using crop wild relatives and landraces.
CGIAR Genebank Platform
The CGIAR Genebank Platform came to an end in 2021 after a decade of Crop Trust’s coordination of the program.
Strengthening Genebanks in Africa
Seeds for Resilience is a 5-year project supporting collections of key crops identified by partner genebanks in five sub-Saharan African countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia.
Breathing New Life into the Global Crop Conservation Strategies
Global Crop Conservation Strategies guide global conservation of genetic resources for key crops. Three new strategies were published in 2021 and drafts of four more were completed.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault
Twenty-two genebanks, including two new ones, added nearly 51,000 seed samples to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in 2021.
Data and Information: the Backbone of the Global System
Information systems are central to the effective conservation and use of plant genetic resources, whether at the level of the individual collection, using the likes of GRIN-Global, or at a global level, like Genesys. The Crop Trust’s work on both types of system made significant strides in 2021.
Partnerships and Organizational News
The Crop Trust made a number of important strides in its partnerships and outreach in 2021. This included signing a memorandum of understanding with the World Vegetable Center, launching an Emergency Reserve fund for genebanks in crisis, and supporting and participating in key events such as the United Nations Food Systems Summit and Global Landscapes Forum discussions in Africa and alongside COP26 in Glasgow.
Finance and Investments
The Endowment Fund continued to grow during the year, with contributions received from the United States Agency for International Development, the Government of Germany, the Government of New Zealand, the Government of India and Groupe Limagrain along with healthy growth in the investments.
Securing Our Food Forever
In this period of reduced overseas development aid and declining grants from governments, it has become necessary and urgent for the Crop Trust to explore new ways to engage a broader group of public and private donors in helping us reach our USD 850 million target.