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It was a challenging year for investment markets due to geopolitical turmoil, rising interest rates and inflationary pressures. As a consequence, the Endowment Fund did not do as well as in the recent past. However, it was set up with a long-term perspective in mind, and can withstand short-term market fluctuations and still achieve its objectives. 

At a glance

The Endowment Fund is the key financial instrument that underpins the Crop Trust’s mission, providing the financial means for the organization to create a permanent legacy of support for crop diversity safeguarded in genebanks of critical importance to global food and nutritional security. The Endowment Fund’s current value stands at USD 277 million and the Crop Trust aims to increase the fund to USD 850 million by 2030.

The Endowment Fund

The Endowment Fund received a total of USD 8.5 million in new contributions in 2022: 5.4 million from USAID, 3 million from the Government of New Zealand and 52,000 from Groupe Limagrain.

At the end of the year, the Endowment Fund stood at USD 277 million. Due to the turbulent market performance of 2022, which resulted in the worst year for equity and bond markets in over a century and a half, the Fund had a difficult year, with annual performance down by 16.3%. 

The Endowment Fund was set up with a long-term perspective. It is highly diversified and structured for the long-term, so that it can still achieve its objectives despite occasional losses.

The Endowment Fund of the Crop Trust continues to demonstrate the wisdom of the international community in not leaving the funding of crop diversity to short-term mechanisms. Despite 2022 being a turbulent year for investment markets, the value of the Fund was significantly higher at the end of the year than the capital invested. And yet, more than USD 74 million has been withdrawn from the endowment since its establishment to support the work of securing, conserving, and making available crop diversity with the aim of achieving sustainable agriculture and global food and nutritional security.

Dezreen Cameron-Stein Head of Finance and Investment, Crop Trust

Building and deepening partnerships

The Crop Trust continues to work on several initiatives to deepen and extend 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. 

Central to these activities is the revised Financing Strategy, which will strengthen the fundraising infrastructure in line with the strategic repositioning of the Crop Trust. This work is complemented by the project Strategic Development of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, launched in 2021. This is a three-year effort funded by GIZ, the German development agency and BMZ, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany. The project supports the institutional and strategic development of the Crop Trust to achieve its objectives and reach the endowment target of USD 850 million to permanently secure, conserve and make available crop diversity in support of global food and nutrition security. 

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