Today we announce that Australia will contribute to the Global Crop Diversity Trust to safeguard the world’s crops and strengthen global food security.

Established in 2004, the Global Crop Diversity Trust supports conservation of the world’s most diverse collection of food crop seeds and improves the plant genetic resources for the world’s major food crops.

Australia’s $5 million contribution will provide financial support and technical assistance to seedbanks in developing countries and support a fail-safe backup of food crop seeds in the Svalbard Seed Vault in Norway.

As a net importer of crop species, Australia recognises the importance of a global effort to maintain crop seed diversity. Australia has been contributing both farmed and wild seed material to the Svalbard Seed Vault collection as a valuable resource for global food production, and as a vital back-up to our national collections. 

Seedbanks are vital to preparing for a projected 60% increase in global food demand by 2050. The Trust is playing an important role in preserving crop varieties with greater tolerance to climatic stresses such as drought and salinity.

Australia’s contribution is a great example of how the government is helping Australian farmers and how Australian farmers are helping to feed the world.

Australia also provides country level support for crop diversity. We are assisting Afghanistan to unlock the genetic make-up of different types of wheat stored in their national seed bank, using technology developed in Australia. This will help secure their agricultural future and provide the means to develop their rich genetic resources.

Australia was a founding member of the Global Crop Diversity Trust and former Australian Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer is Vice-Chair of the Crop Trust’s Executive Board.

Media enquiries

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