International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

BSF Project - Third Cycle

The Third Project Cycle of the Benefit-sharing Fund (BSF 3) consists of 22 projects to be implemented in 45 developing countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, Near East, South West Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean. (Map of Projects Windows 2 - Map of Projects Windows 3)

The main purpose of the sponsored portfolio is to build resilience in the face of climate change and food insecurity through the sustainable use, conservation, development and study of genetic diversity to the benefit of the most vulnerable communities. While Window 2: Immediate action projects support activities that ensure that local crop varieties of importance for food security are preserved, reintroduced, developed and maintained in farmers’ fields, Window 3: Co-development and technology transfer projects aim to enable the exchange of value added information about PGRFA through scientific research and study as to identify specific traits that tolerate climate induced stresses.

Launched in 2014, the BSF 3 has received a lot of attention across the world, including from government agencies, international research institutes, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, genebanks and international development organizations. More than 270 eligible pre-proposals were screened and a total of 188 eligible pre-proposals were submitted to an Independent Panel of Experts for appraisal. 

In the last two years, Benefit-sharing Fund (BSF) partners have achieved some notable results:

  • A total of 81,540 people have been directly involved in and benefited from the projects funded in the Third Project Cycle of the Benefit-sharing Fund (BSF-3). This includes farmers (91%), researchers, breeders, genebank curators, governmental officials, students and professors. Farmers have benefitted from:
    • increased availability and distribution of disease-free, clean planting material as a result of identification and incorporation of preferred candidate genes in breeding of climate-smart varieties;
    • increased availability of and access to lost or underutilized crops that have been reintroduced in farmers’ fields or repatriated from international genebanks, national genebanks and breeding programs;
    • increased  diversity of crops grown in their fields;
    • increased yields and income;
    • improved skills and knowledge in relation to Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA) management and conservation.
  • At least 256,800 people of which 23,610 women are expected to gain indirect benefits from the scaling up and out of the outcomes of BSF-3 projects;
  • More than 1000 students are gaining knowledge in participatory methods of plant breeding and community-based management systems of PGFRA, and are benefiting from practical application of genomics, phenotyping and use of molecular techniques. These students include MSc and PhD scholars, who represent a new generation of PGRFA scientists and breeders, equipped to support the implementation of the International Treaty;
  • More than 270 partnering institutions have joined forces in the execution of BSF-3 projects’ activities;
  • More than 5300 varieties of target crops have been evaluated for adaptability to biotic and abiotic stresses by farmers and scientists;
  • A total of 4390 varieties have undergone molecular characterization at research institutes to identify traits of potential value, using the following techniques:
    • KASP genotyping;
    • SNP markers;
    • DNA extraction; and
    • FIGS approach.
  • A total of 850 genotypes with novel traits and resistance to diseases have been identified and are being used in breeding programmes;
  • Marker-assisted selection systems have been introduced and disseminated;
  • A total of 340 useful  and high yielding pre-breeding populations have been developed;
  • Almost 1000 accessions resistant to pests, diseases and climate-induced shocks, including landraces of target crops have been identified and are being used  in farmers’ fields;
  • 62 community seedbanks have been established, including  management committees storing 3612 varieties of  sorghum, finger millet, pearl millet, cowpea, pigeon peas and groundnuts apple, potato, millet and common beans;
  • 162 Farmer Field Schools have been established as learning platforms for farmers to acquire knowledge and skills through direct, participatory practices;
  • 50,000 people have received training and capacity building on the value of agro-biodiversity, on-farm conservation, modern techniques for the study of genetic diversity and the importance of value added information on PGRFA through a total of almost 500 sessions.  
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