CIAT's genebank in Cali, Colombia, lists almost 68,000 accessions in Genesys. The vast majority are seed crops, mainly beans, but CIAT also has a mandate to conserve cassava and tropical forages, and those too are held in the genebank. Almost 2000 of the accessions are wild relatives. The CIAT bean collection is the world's largest and most diverse, with more than 44,000 accessions.
Since the collection started in 1978, CIAT has distributed more than 187,000 samples of 37,368 accession to recipients in 164 countries. Accessions are contributing to the breeding of more nutritious and more resilient varieties, not least by CIAT's own breeders.
Cassava is represented by 6592 accessions (883 of which are provided by 33 of the 98 wild relative species of Manihot) stored as microplants in tissue culture. This collection too is considered a global leader because of the number of accessions, their diversity and the geographic range they represent. More than 41,000 samples have been distributed to 69 countries, guaranteed free of the three major viruses thanks to the work of the germplasm health laboratory at CIAT. The laboratory also ensures that seeds of beans and tropical forages are free of pests and diseases.
The tropical forage collection is also a world leader, with more than 23,000 accessions of about 740 species. CIAT and ILRI created the Tropical Forages Database, an online version of an interactive selection tool that helps researchers, farmers and their advisers to find the most appropriate forages.
Safety duplicates of 84% of the bean accessions and 78% of the forages have been placed in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.