Future Seeds is a state-of-the-art genebank that will serve as a hub to:
- Conserve and distribute genetic resources of a diverse set of crops efficiently and effectively, following the highest international standards.
- Innovate to improve conservation methods and discover the hidden value of genetic resources to enable a more targeted use of crop diversity to accelerate genetic gains.
- Engage the public to raise societal awareness about the vital role of crop diversity and contribute to the policy dialogue about the equitable sharing of benefits of crop diversity.
Future Seeds will not only hold in trust for humanity the largest collections of beans, cassava and tropical forages in the world, with over 67,000 distinct samples, but will also expand its collections to other essential crops and their wild relatives, thus supporting global food and nutrition security.
The future of crop diversity and genebanks
Over the last century, approximately 75% of crop diversity has been lost. The world’s population now relies primarily on a few dozen crops, with humans getting ~95% of their energy from five of these alone. Crop failures due to climate change, socio-political conflicts, natural disasters, or pests and diseases, already spell disaster for millions of farmers and consumers around the world each year. This is where genebanks such as Future Seeds play a crucial role. They can provide the necessary planting materials to reconstruct agricultural losses by furnishing countries with varieties that are adapted to local conditions. They can also serve as genetic libraries from which breeders can develop new varieties of nutritious crops that are tailored to specific growing conditions across the world, building on gains achieved in agricultural productivity over the last half-century while avoiding environmental and social costs.