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Australian species feature in latest Seed Vault deposit

Grain Central, February 18, 2022

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, is located on the remote Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. Photo: NordGen

THE Australian Pastures Genebank provided one of the largest collection of seeds at 6242 to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault when it opened for its first deposit for the year on Monday.

In total, 10 genebanks from around the world deposited 20,443 seed samples into the vault.

The Australian seed collection was second in size only to that from the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) based in Morocco.

It held seeds from nearly 100 Australian forage species not previously represented in the Svalbard vault.

Minister of Agriculture and Food of Norway, Sandra Borch, participated in the deposit process, and said obtaining new species was important to the success of the vault.

“We are always excited to receive new species into the seed vault,” Ms Borch said.

“The future of the world’s food and nutrition security depends not only on the genetic diversity we have within the major food crops, but also on the diversity of crops that small-scale farmers rely on.”

This latest deposit brings Australia’s total to over 45,000 seed samples from the Australian Grains Genebank and the Australian Pastures Genebank facilities.

The Svalbard vault now hosts more than 1.1 million seed samples of nearly 6000 plant species from 89 genebanks around the world.

It is owned by Norway and is operated in partnership with regional genebank NordGen and the Crop Trust.

Source: Crop Trust

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