Australia pledges donation to Global Crop Diversity Trust

More News Top Stories
Australia pledges donation to Global Crop Diversity Trust

The Australian Government has announced it will give AUD$5 million (US$3.9 million) to the Global Crop Diversity Trust, the group that oversees the Svalbard Seed Vault in Norway.

Australia was a founding member of the trust, established in 2004 to support conservation of the world’s most diverse collection of food crop seeds and the improvement of genetic plant resources.

The donation will provide financial support and technical assistance to seedbanks in developing countries and support a fail-safe backup of food crop seeds in the Norway vault.

"As a net importer of crop species, Australia recognizes the importance of a global effort to maintain crop seed diversity," Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said in a release.

"Australia has been contributing both farmed and wild seed material to the Svalbard Seed Vault collection as a valuable resource for global food production, and as a vital back-up to our national collections.

"Seedbanks are vital to preparing for a projected 60% increase in global food demand by 2050. The Trust is playing an important role in preserving crop varieties with greater tolerance to climatic stresses such as drought and salinity."

The Australian Government also provides country level support for crop diversity, including a project in Afghanistan to unlock the genetic make-up of different types of wheat stored in the country's national seed bank, using technology developed in Australia.

"This will help secure their agricultural future and provide the means to develop their rich genetic resources," the ministers said.

Photo: André Karwath, via Wikimedia Creative Commons


Subscribe to our newsletter