Staple Crops Stored in Arctic Seed Vault

Staple Crops Stored in Arctic Seed VaultStaple Crops Stored in Arctic Seed Vault

Varieties of one of the world’s most important staple crops have now been stored for posterity deep in the Arctic.

José Graziano da Silva, director-general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), joined scientific experts and delegations from Peru, Costa Rica and Norway to mark the preservation of vital crops for future generations.

The deposit was made at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a back-up facility in the permafrost far north of the Arctic Circle that currently holds over 860,000 food crop seeds from all over the world. Its operation is co-funded by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, a non-profit, independent international organization that ensures the conservation and availability of crop diversity for food security worldwide for current and future generations, and the government of Norway, reports the FAO’s website.  

Representatives of the indigenous Andean communities, who worked together to establish the Parque de la Papa, in Cusco, Peru, have deposited 750 potato seeds. The seeds are the result of benefit-sharing projects supported by FAO’s International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The farmers were joined by scientists from the Center for Agricultural Research at the University of Costa Rica, who also added wild potato relatives to the largest agro-biodiversity collection in the world.