New seeds from Syria to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault
Feb.27, Oslo: For the first time, seeds that had been retrieved from secure storage have been returned to the seed vault in Svalbard. Forced to retrieve seed deposits from Svalbard in the fall of 2015, the international research centre ICARDA, previously operating out of Aleppo, Syria, was last week returning newly recultivated seed stock.
Around 14.000 packets of grains and legumes seeds, recultivated in Lebanon and Morocco, were redeposited in the vault, and this amounts to half of what was retrieved in 2015. ICARDA is working on shipping more seeds to the vault, while also deliberating whether retrieving further deposits from the vault will be necessary. ICARDA is an international agricultural research centre for dry-land agriculture, and plays a vital role in contributing resources and technology to build up agriculture in one of the world's most vulnerable regions, both in terms of unrest and drought.
That these freshly recultivated seeds now return to the seed vault is exceptionally important. With these seeds, food production in Syria may be reestablished much sooner, once military conflict ends, the Minister for Agriculture and Food Jon Georg Dale says. It is a large and important task to keep all genetic material which is important for global food security, he adds.
The Oslo Times International News Network