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International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

The International Treaty Fund receives USD 625000 from Italy

Farmers attending a training workshop supported by the Treaty Fund in Africa

12/07/2018

Rome, Italy  – Italy has made a contribution of over half-a-million US Dollars to the Benefit-sharing Fund of the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture to support farmers in developing countries conserve and manage food crops.

Speaking at FAO on behalf of his government, H.E. Ambassador Pierfrancesco Sacco, called the Benefit-sharing Fund “an essential tool for the realization of the objectives of the International Treaty, especially in terms of sustainable agriculture, enhancement and implementation of farmers’ rights, adaptation of global agriculture to the challenges of climate change.”

The Benefit-sharing Fund invests directly in projects supporting farmers in developing countries conserve crop diversity, combat climate change, boost nutrition and resilience, and decrease hunger. In doing so, the Fund is also working towards FAO’s commitment to #ZeroHunger and the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We are grateful to the Government of Italy for their steadfast support to the International Treaty and to the Benefit-sharing Fund,” said Kent Nnadozie, Secretary of the International Treaty. “Italy remains one of our most committed partners and donors, having provided annual contributions totaling over USD 6 million in the past 10 years. It is thanks to such contributions that the Treaty is able to support farmers conserve crop diversity, which in turn builds resilience in local farming communities in developing countries and helps ensure global food security for all of us.”

With this latest contribution from Italy, the fourth round of BSF projects will be able to invest over USD 5 million to support agricultural development projects. The International Treaty has recently launched the fourth cycle of projects supported by the Benefit-sharing Fund. To date, the Fund has positively impacted the lives of about 1 million people, investing USD 20 million in 61 projects in 55 developing countries.

Speaking of the vital importance of the International Treaty’s Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing, which comprises the largest global genepool of germplasm in the world, Ambassador Sacco said, “Being a country which, on the one hand, is rich in plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and their diversity, including their wild relatives and which, on the other hand, owes some of its important products to the exchange of genetic resources with other countries of the world, Italy has always supported the Multilateral System and the sharing of benefits arising from plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.”

The International Treaty’s Multilateral System provides access to over 2.3 million unique accessions of plant genetic material, and has facilitated the global exchange of over 4 million such samples at an average rate of 1000 transfers per day.

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