What have genebanks ever done for us?

Still need to be convinced about the value of genebanks? Well, hot on the heels of the 2020 collection Genebanks and Food Security in a Changing Agriculture now comes another tranche of studies from the Impact Fellowship program that has been running under the just-concluded CGIAR-Crop Trust Genebank Platform:

  1. Developing country demand for crop germplasm conserved by the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Demand is high and probably getting higher, and better data helps everyone.
  2. Global demand for rice genetic resources. Demand is high, even from farmers, especially for accessions with better data.
  3. The role of CGIAR Germplasm Health Units in averting endemic crop diseases: the example of rice blast in Bangladesh. The Germplasm Health Units have a return on investment of 112 for this one disease in one country.
  4. IITA’s genebank, cowpea diversity on farms, and farmers’ welfare in Nigeria. New cowpea varieties derived from genebank accessions are good for livelihoods and don’t displace landraces.
  5. Genebanks and market participation: evidence from groundnut farmers in Malawi. New groundnut varieties derived from genebank accessions help get farmers into markets through higher production.
  6. Dynamic guardianship of potato landraces by Andean communities and the genebank of the International Potato Center. The in situ survival probability of rematriated landraces was 18% after 15 years.

One Reply to “What have genebanks ever done for us?”

  1. All right, all right, but apart from all that, *what have the genebanks ever done for us*? This remains one of most comical scenes ever.

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