IRRI’s rice collection receives permanent financial backing, saving almost all known varieties of rice crops, forever.
Photo: IRRI

19.10.2018

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The massive rice collection stored at the International Rice Research Institute is to receive permanent financial backing from the Crop Trust, saving almost all known varieties of rice crops, forever. The grant will secure the future of one of the world’s most important staples.

As it’s becoming increasingly clear that we will not succeed in holding back dangerous climate change, seed banks – which stockpile seeds breeders need to develop new varieties equipped for a warmer, dryer world – are becoming critical to our future survival.

The world’s largest rice collection is stored at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños /Philippines. In a partnership with IRRI Crop Trust will provide permanent funding for the conservation and sharing of 136,000 rice varieties. The agreement, which guarantees funding worth USD 1.4 million a year, in perpetuity, was signed on World Food Day, October 16th, during the 5th International Rice Congress in Singapore.

Funding in perpetuity

The USD 1.4 million per year will be paid from the Crop Trust’s endowment fund, which was established in 2004 to provide sustainable, long-term financial support to the world’s most important food and agriculture genebanks.

“This is a landmark moment for IRRI and for the Crop Trust,” said Marie Haga, Executive Director of the Crop Trust.

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