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Food Forever: 2030 Strategic Plan

The Crop Trust has a clear vision: a world in which crop diversity is permanently conserved and made available in support of sustainable, resilient and healthy agrifood systems. Achieving this vision is no easy task and certainly not one that can be done overnight. It is important to prioritize carefully along the way to this goal, one sensible step at a time. The Crop Trust 2030 Strategic Plan, adopted in 2023, sets out the targets to be met by the end of the decade and provides a roadmap for achieving them.

The Road to a Global Genebank Partnership

There are now some 827 crop genebanks worldwide, conserving around 5.8 million accessions, or samples of diversity. To ensure that these accessions are permanently conserved and accessible to researchers, plant breeders and farmers, it is imperative not only that each genebank function properly, but that all genebanks work closely together in a cohesive system. There must be more technical collaboration and knowledge-sharing among genebanks, more mutual learning and capacity development, better communications with all stakeholders, and stronger bridges to their users. To achieve this, the Crop Trust will invite all genebanks to collaborate in a Global Genebank Partnership over the next years, paving the way to higher overall efficiency and effectiveness, and more impact of the system as a whole.

The Crop Trust’s Operations: a Long-Term Mission

The most important task of the Crop Trust is to provide long-term support for the essential operations of key genebanks. These operations include the acquisition, storage, monitoring, safety duplication, regeneration, multiplication, documentation and distribution of crop diversity. This support is an ongoing task that will never end. The long-term nature of the task justifies financing it from the income of the Endowment Fund, an income stream designed to last forever. 

Goal 1 - Long-term Support for the Maintenance of Essential Genebank Operations

The first goal of the Strategic Plan is thus to permanently cover the costs of the essential operations of all international genebanks recognized under the International Plant Treaty by 2030. Securing the essential operations of key genebanks forever is necessary but not sufficient to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the global system as a whole. For that, specific, strategic, system-wide support is needed, which will complement the support given to individual genebanks and be mainstreamed through capacity-building. These actions include strengthening information systems, harmonizing quality management standards and performance reporting, enhancing knowledge management and related training, and facilitating better collaboration and division of responsibilities among genebanks.

Goal 2 - Time-bound Support for the Upgrading, Collecting and Use of Crop Diversity

While the Crop Trust will focus on using its own financial resources to fully support the permanent tasks of the international genebanks and to provide the necessary system-wide support by 2030, it will also support national genebanks through time-bound project funds. Accordingly, the second goal of the Strategic Plan is that, by 2030, the Crop Trust will have significantly increased time-bound support for upgrading genebank facilities, monitoring threats to crop diversity, conserving threatened crop diversity in genebanks as appropriate and enhancing the availability of crop diversity and the linkages between genebanks and researchers, plant breeders and farmers.

Goal 3 - Increasing Global Awareness of the Importance of Crop Diversity

To achieve all this, the Crop Trust needs more financial resources. Raising such resources depends on greater public awareness of the importance of crop diversity. Our cause needs greater political weight. With the third goal of its new Strategic Plan, the Crop Trust aims to significantly increase global awareness of the importance of crop diversity by 2030. It will have broadened and deepened its institutional partnerships and, through strategic communications and outreach, moved crop diversity considerably higher on the global development agenda and raised awareness of its importance to all.

To boost resource mobilization, the Crop Trust will engage in a major fundraising initiative to support the growth of the Endowment Fund. Since crop diversity is a global public good, the Crop Trust will continue to approach public donors, but will also reach out to private foundations, high-net-worth individuals, and the corporate world. Compelling fundraising narratives and donor communications will be developed to highlight the key importance of the Crop Trust’s mission and mandate at the nexus of global dialogues on climate change, food and nutrition security, health and nutrition, and biodiversity conservation.

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