Crop Trust: preserving plant diversity in gene banks

Project description

Title: Strategic Development of the Global Crop Diversity Trust
Commissioned by: Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ)
Country: Global
Overall term: 2021 to 2023

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Context

Agricultural yields and nutritional quality largely depend on suitable seeds. In order to cultivate seed that is more nutritious and adapted to climate change, it is often necessary to draw on the genetic diversity of crop plants and their wild relatives. But this genetic diversity, or agrobiodiversity, is steadily decreasing.

To address this, the Crop Trust endowment fund was established by the international community in 2004. The mission of the fund, which is headquartered in Bonn, is to preserve the world's agrobiodiversity and make it available for use. To this end, it finances important gene banks all over the world where seed samples for crop plant cultivation are stored. However, the Crop Trust still does not have adequate financial means to fulfil its mission to the planned extent.

Objective

The Crop Trust is better able to preserve worldwide agrobiodiversity and make it available for use.

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Approach

The project supports the Global Crop Diversity Trust in institutional development and strategic restructuring, in order to ensure its long-term financing. 
The main fields of activity are:

1. Formulating a financing strategy
The Crop Trust is analysing and evaluating innovative financing mechanisms. To this end, the project is reviewing the financing targets and working with the fund to develop an overall strategy for long-term financing of the Crop Trust. The focus is on new financing mechanisms, for example with investment in or voluntary contributions to the Crop Trust by the private sector. 

2. Supporting gene banks
Collaboration with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and its gene banks as well as with regional and national gene banks is being expanded. The project works with the gene banks and other partners to prepare project proposals for potential financiers. A study is also researching the needs of disadvantaged groups, women and young people and how they can play a role in preserving seed and making it available for use.

3. Networking and public relations
To achieve the financing targets, the project promotes networking with private enterprises and civil society organisations in Germany. The aim is to raise awareness of the Crop Trust, especially among the German public, through campaigns, events and initiatives. The project supports the development of an overall strategy in order to incorporate gender aspects and highlight the important role of women in the field of agrobiodiversity. A gender-sensitive public relations campaign will contribute to this as well. 

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Last update: March 2021