International treaty to protect agrobiodiversity strengthens

18 March, 2011 by (comments)

Nearly two-thirds of the world has now committed to improving conservation and access to crop diversity in a united effort to confront the challenges of climate change and food insecurity, The Jakarta Post reports.

Genetic resources12

The 127 signatories of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) gathered this week in Bali for the Fourth Session of the Governing Body. It was agreed that the 1.5 million genetic samples currently held in trust is a triumph for agrobiodiversity and food security, however more international support is urgently needed to conserve these precious resources, especially crop wild relatives, that underlie our food supply.

“No country – rich or poor – has within its borders the crop diversity required to meet future food needs. All countries need to improve the way they share their seed crop material as a matter of great urgency,” said Dr Shakeel Bhatti, Secretary of the Treaty’s Governing Body.

CIAT’s Genetic Resources Program conserve and distributes genetic materials from its genebank, which holds the world’s largest collections of common bean, cassava, and tropical forage germplasm.

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Filed Under: Agro-ecology and Economics @en, Crop diversity