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Safety Duplication at Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Keeping crop diversity in a genebank is an important first step in ensuring that diversity is preserved and available to plant breeders, farmers and others. But keeping seeds in only one place is also a major risk — if anything goes wrong, the whole collection can be lost.

What is it and where did it come from?

Genebanks are expected to have what is called a safety duplicate of their collection, preferably in a different geographic location. Producing these safety duplicates requires growing out the samples, harvesting, cleaning and processing the resultant seed and preparing it for long-term cold storage. Unfortunately, this is time-consuming, labor intensive and expensive. Many genebanks simply do not have the resources to do this crucial work. This means that many crop diversity collections around the world are not safety duplicated and their collections could easily be lost.

To address this, BOLD is providing grants that will deliver technical and financial support to up to 40 partners around the world to help them regenerate seeds from their key collections and to back them up both at another genebank and send them to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault for long-term safekeeping.

The grants focus on key elements of the collections of national, regional and international significance. Grantees will regenerate and conserve a wide range of crops, from common staples such as wheat and rice to indigenous vegetables and underutilized crops — all of which will help ensure future food security.

Backing up this key crop diversity from low- and middle-income countries will ensure its continued availability to farmers, breeders and researchers.

Grantees of the BOLD regeneration grants

Country Lead Institute
Albania Institute of Plant Genetic Resources of Albania (IPGRA)
Armenia Scientific Center of Agrobiotechnology (SCA)
Armenia The Scientific Center of Vegetable and Industrial Crops (SCVIC)
Bangladesh Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC)
Benin Laboratory of Genetics, Biotechnology and Seed Science (GBioS) of the Faculty of Agronomic Sciences of the University of Abomey-Calavi (FSA-UAC)
Benin Group of Research, Agricultural Innovation, Biodiversity Management and Action for Sustainable and Equitable Local Development (GRIGADEB)
Benin Institut National des Recherches Agricoles du Bénin (INRAB) - French
Bolivia Instituto de Agroecología y Seguridad Alimentaria (IASA) - Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias
Bosnia and Herzegovina University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Brazil EMBRAPA Maize
Brazil EMBRAPA Rice and Bean
Burkina Faso Institute of Environment and Agricultural Research (INERA)
Burundi Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU)
Cameroon Eco Germ Farmers 
Chad Institut Tchadiende Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (ITRAD)
Costa Rica Tropical Agronomic Research and High EducationCenter (CATIE)
Costa Rica Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR)
DR Congo Institut National pour l’Etude et la Recherche Agronomiques (INERA)
Ghana University of Cape Coast (UCC)
Indonesia The Borneo Institute (BIT)
Kazakhstan Kazakh Scientific Research Institute of Agriculture and Plant Growing (LLP)
Kenya Seed Savers Network (SSN)
Madagascar The National Center for Applied Research on Rural Development (FOFIFA/CENRADERU)
Malawi Malawi Plant Genetic Resources Centre (MPGRC)    
Malaysia Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI)
Malaysia University of Nottingham (UNM)
Mali Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER)
Nigeria Ahmadu Bello University (ABU)
Nigeria Biodiversity Education and Resource Centre (BERC)
Nigeria National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT)
Nigeria Osun State University / Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU-UNIOSUN), Ile – Ife 
North Macedonia Civil association Bogdanci
Papua New Guinea National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI)
Philippines  National Plant Genetic Resources Laboratory (NPGRL), Institute of Plant Breeding, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of the Philippines
Suriname Anne van Dijk Rice Research Centre Nickerie (ADRON)
Tanzania Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Uyole Center
Tanzania The Nelson Mandela African Institution of
Science and Technology (NMAIST)
Tanzania Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Kihinga Center
Vietnam Can Tho University (CTU)
Zambia Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI)
Zimbabwe Community Technology Development Trust (CTDT)
Zimbabwe Genetic Resources and Biotechnology Institute (GRBI)
Zimbabwe Lupane State University (LSU)

All of the recipients are on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee’s list of countries eligible for official development assistance. They also comply with other criteria, including being contracting parties to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (the Plant Treaty) and make their seed samples available under the Plant Treaty’s Standard Material Transfer Agreement.

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