From ILRI to Svalbard

ILRI and other members of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) are storing their vast seed collections in the new Svalbard global seed vault in Norway as a safety backup. This natural freezer, located in the Arctic Circle, will preserve seeds of these plant varieties for many years. This effort is part of a global commitment under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The benefits are universal.
ILRI’s forage diversity project leader, Jean Hanson, says, ‘The 18,000 seed and plant samples held in trust in the ILRI genebank are tested to help scientists deliver appropriate fodders and forages for millions of poor milk and meat producers.’

In January 2008 ILRI shipped 4000 samples of tropical fodders and forages to Norway’s Svalbard Global Seed Vault. These samples duplicate specimens from ILRI’s vast collection of African forages, the largest and most diverse in the world.

Watch the ILRI video below about their shipment to Svalbard (5MB)


or click here to view this and other ILRI videos online.

The Genebanks

The 11 CGIAR genebanks currently conserve 730,000 of cereals and grain legumes, forage crops, tree species, root and tuber crops, bananas and crop wild relatives.