World’s Food Crops safeguarded in genebanks around the world
29 January 2014, Rome - More than 7 million samples of the seeds and materials of our food crops are safeguarded in approximately 1,750 repositories around the world. Their conservation and use are critical to safeguarding food and nutrition security. In support of their conservation, FAO has published Genebank Standards for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. As genebank materials are increasingly shared across national and continental boundaries, the universal use of these standards by the genebank curators need to be maintained. The world’s genebanks, however, differ greatly in the size of their collections and the human and financial resources at their disposal.
Chikelu Mba is an Officer in the Plant Production and Protection Division at FAO. In the following interview he explains why genebank standards are necessary, what the state of genebanks are like in developing countries and what these countries are doing to upgrade their genebanks.
Produced by: Sandra Ferrari