The Agricultural Plant Genetic Resources Conservation and Research Centre (APGRC) is one of the Centres that operate under the umbrella of the Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC) Sudan. It is mandated for realizing sustainable management and use of the plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) in Sudan.
It was initiated in the early 1980s as a germplasm unit for horticultural crops within the Horticulture Research Section of the ARC. It was then promoted as a separate programme in the ARC to cover all PGRFA under what was so called the Plant Genetic Resources Unit. Following considerable expansion in the germplasm holdings, physical capacity and human capacity, the PGR Unit was upgraded into a centre in 2014, which is named the Agricultural Plant Genetic Resources Conservation and Research Centre.
Activities for conservation of the local PGRFA are carried out by the APGRC through a network of genebanks that comprises seed and field genebanks. They are composed of a central national genebank facility at the headquarters of the APGRC at Wad Medani town in central Sudan, which is connected with a number of sub-national genebank units located in different agricultural research stations of the ARC. They include a seed genebank unit in Elobeid town in the western region, banana field genebank in Kassala town in the eastern region, and date palm field genebank in Elhudeiba in the northern region.
A total of more than 15,000 accessions have already been collected and are being conserved in the genebanks of the APGRC from different plant species. The largest collections are from crops such as sorghum and pearl millet, followed by sesame, cowpea, and vegetables such as okra, watermelon, peppers, as well as medicinal plants such as Roselle. The seed materials of different accessions are conserved in the seed banks under long term seed storage conditions. Collections of banana and date palm are conserved in two separate field genebanks.
Research activities of the APGRC aim at exploring the in-situ diversity of the PGRFA in Sudan, as well as enhancing their use through studying this diversity to obtain necessary information on its size and values. To accomplish such objectives the APGRC is dealing with different research topics under a number of thematic and crop-wise projects including Exploration and Conservation of PGRFA as well as Enhancement of Use of the genetic resources of different crop groups such as cereals, oil crops, leguminous crops, vegetables and medicinal and aromatic plants and vegetative propagated fruit producing plants.