International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

BSF Project - Third Cycle

Strengthening on-farm conservation and utilization of PGRFA to support farmers’ adaptation to climate change and improved livelihoods in Albania
Where are we working?
In recent decades, climate change has seriously affected food security and food production among farming communities in Albania, especially among those living in mountainous areas of the country.
This Benefit-sharing Fund project is improving the livelihood of farming communities through on-farm conservation and sustainable management of locally adapted crop varieties.

What are we doing?
  • Promotion and awareness raising of on-farm conservation and effects of climate change for crop productivity;
  • Inventory and identification of drought and pest resistant local varieties of wheat, maize, bean, alfalfa and apple in 12 districts of the country;
  • Collection and characterization of targeted crops in project areas;
  • Conservation of collected germplasm in ex- situ facilities (national genebanks, research institutions);
  • Multiplication and distribution of selected, locally adapted accessions of maize, wheat, bean, alfalfa and apple;
  • Technology and knowledge transfer related to on-farm conservation and use of PGRA for food security;
  • Increasing capacities and knowledge of conventional and modern breeding techniques, including issues related to the collection and use of locally adapted varieties.

What has been achieved to date?
Food security and adaptation by resource-poor farmers has been enhanced through identification and development of on-farm conservation systems for 15 highly productive and resistant crop varieties of wheat, maize, beans and alfalfa.
In addition, the identification and characterization of locally adapted crop varieties, as well as the collection and conservation of more than 520 accessions in ex-situ facilities have been completed. An inventory has been created as a means to ensure continued availability of agrobiodiversity to current and future generations.
Local seed systems have been established and strengthened through the multiplication of and distribution to farmers of 10,500 kg wheat, 3100 kg maize, 2200 kg beans and 2300 kg apple seedlings, all locally adapted.
Moreover, the project has increased the capacities, skills and know-how of a wide range of stakeholders on issues related to conservation, selection, characterization and breeding techniques.

Who has benefited?
More than 3000 farmers (55 % women) have benefitted from the distribution and increased availability of locally adapted plant material (seeds & seedlings); 160 local agricultural experts have increased their knowledge of on-farm conservation, the importance of genetic diversity, collection, evaluation, characterization and conservation of local crop varieties; 20 experts from the Ministry of Agriculture, 10 lecturers of the Department of Plant Sciences and Technologies and 100 students of the Agricultural University have participated in training and capacity building on characterization, breeding, conservation and use.
It is estimated that more than 450 farmers, as well as small and medium sized seed traders will indirectly benefit from the project activities.
Apple, Beans, Maize, Wheat
Window 2 - Immediate action projects
Region: Europe
Target Countries: Albania
Implementing institution: Agricultural University of Tirana

Link to dedicated website

Share this page