Reward for conserving crops

11 projects announced in Tunis to receive grants from treaty on food plant genes

2 June 2009, Rome/Tunis – Eleven developing countries that conserve food seeds and other genetic material from major crops will receive more than $500 000 to support their efforts according to an announcement made today in Tunis at a high-level meeting of the  governing body of the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources in Food and Agriculture.

Grants are to be awarded to projects in Egypt, Kenya, Costa Rica, India, Peru, Senegal, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Cuba, Tanzania and Morocco. It is the first time funds have become available under the benefit-sharing scheme of the Treaty, designed to compensate farmers in developing countries for their role in conserving crop varieties. 

The projects were chosen from hundreds of applications and come on stream thanks to the generous donations of Norway, Italy, Spain and Switzerland in support of agriculture and food security.

The projects to be supported include: on-farm protection of citrus agro-biodiversity in Egypt, the genetic enhancement and revitalization of finger millet in Kenya and the conservation of indigenous potato varieties in Peru.

For a full list of projects supported click here.

Photo: ©FAO/
Cucarbita family: native to the Americas, eaten all over the world.