How does the Crop Trust support genebanks around the world?
The Crop Trust was launched in 2004 to conserve and make crop diversity available for use, forever and for the benefit of everyone, through its Endowment Fund.
The Endowment Fund supports genebanks in two ways: through Long-term Grants (LTGs) and Long-term Partnership Agreements (LPAs).
LTGs cover a proportion of the costs of the essential operations of these collections around the world, in perpetuity:
Once a genebank meets agreed performance targets, it becomes eligible for a Long-term Partnership Agreement (LPA). An LPA covers all of the costs of essential operations of the genebank, forever. In 2018, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Crop Trust signed an LPA which guarantees funding worth USD 1.4 million a year to support the conservation and availability of over 136,000 varieties of rice.
By the end of 2022, the Endowment Fund’s value stood at USD 277 million. In 2022, USD 10.9 million was withdrawn from the Endowment Fund to support long-term commitments of the Crop Trust to genebanks, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and some operational activities of the Crop Trust Secretariat.
Learn more about the generous contributions that the Endowment Fund received and the challenges that it faced in 2022.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO FUTURE CROP DIVERSITY CONSERVATION
USD 277 M
market value of the
New contributions for the Endowment Fund, in the amount of USD 8.5 million, were received from three donors: USAID, the Government of New Zealand and Groupe Limagrain. USD 10.9 million was withdrawn from the fund to support the core mission of the Crop Trust: to conserve and make crop diversity available for use, forever.
CROP DIVERSITY CONSERVED & USED
USD 7.3 M
in grants were provided to fund projects that strengthen the conservation and use of crop diversity
The Crop Trust, with the help of its partners, conducted a wide variety of program activities in 2022. These included the Seeds for Resilience, BOLD, the project to update several global crop conservation strategies and other activities.
DIVERSITY SAFELY BACKED UP
seed samples added to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault
As of December 2022, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault safeguards 1,194,944 seed samples from 93 genebanks and research institutions worldwide.
CROP DIVERSITY DOCUMENTED
records of genebank samples updated in Genesys in 2022
As of December 2022, Genesys made 4,281,450 records of genebank samples publicly available to enable users worldwide to explore, identify and request crop diversity for breeding and research.
CROP DIVERSITY USED
40 years ago
scientists in Syria collected seeds of Aegilops speltoides, a wild relative of wheat
As part of the Crop Trust’s Crop Wild Relatives Project, these seeds were cross-bred with cultivated wheat, leading to the release of the durum wheat variety Jabal, to farmers in Morocco in 2022.
CROP DIVERSITY HIGHLIGHTED
reached across social media channels every month
The Crop Trust was mentioned in the media more than 700 times over the course of the year, reached about 1 million people every month across its social media channels and welcomed almost 300 people—in person and online—at a special stakeholders' gathering to celebrate crop diversity. The Crop Trust’s Executive Director, Stefan Schmitz, and other staff travelled the globe and also attended numerous online events to raise awareness of the importance of crop diversity for food and nutrition security, and of the crucial role of the Endowment Fund.
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A guiding light for global crop conservation
Global Crop Conservation Strategies guide global conservation of genetic resources for key crops. In 2022, five new strategies and two updated strategies were completed and three others were in the final stages of production.
BOLD strides into the future
Launched in September 2021, Biodiversity for Opportunities, Livelihoods and Development (BOLD) is a 10-year project, that builds on the successes and achievements of the Crop Wild Relatives Project to strengthen food and nutrition security worldwide.
Banking on African heritage
Seeds for Resilience is a five-year project supporting collections of key crops identified by partner genebanks in five sub-Saharan African countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia. In 2022, Seeds for Resilience entered its third year of activities.
Laying the foundations for better grasspea and finger millet
In 2022, the “Safeguarding crop diversity for food security: Pre-breeding complemented with Innovative Finance” Project entered its fourth and final year.
A chill solution for tomorrow’s sweetpotatoes
A new project is preserving sweetpotato landraces from Madagascar and Zambia, cleaning them of diseases so they can yield better, and putting them back into the hands of farmers.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault
In 2022, no fewer than 30 genebanks from 28 countries deposited a total of nearly 85,000 seed samples in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
No data? No conservation.
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 2022.
Partnerships and organizational news
The Crop Trust made a number of important institutional strides forward in 2022, including: receiving an endowment contribution from a private company; signing of a memorandum of understanding with CGIAR; and issuing the first grant under the Emergency Reserve Fund.
Finance and investments
It was a challenging year for investment markets due to geopolitical turmoil, rising interest rates and inflationary pressures. However, the Crop Diversity Endowment Fund was set up with a long-term perspective in mind, and can withstand short-term market fluctuations and still achieve its objectives.
Securing our food, forever
The Crop Trust continues to work on initiatives to deepen its network of government donors and establish partnerships with the private sector, NGOs and multilateral development institutions, both in terms of potential sources of funding, as well as platforms for raising awareness of the importance of crop diversity, and indeed advocacy.