International Genebanks CGIAR

Biodiversity in Trust

Eleven member institutes of the CGIAR Consortium maintain genebanks. Collectively, these form the largest store of agricultural biodiversity in the world. More than 750,000 accessions range from unimproved wild relatives of crops through to elite breeding lines developed by CGIAR scientists. CGIAR genebanks also maintain tree species and bacteria. Some accessions are kept as seeds, others in field genebanks and yet others in test-tube, or in-vitro, collections.

Over the past 10 years, CGIAR genebanks have distributed more than a million samples to plant breeders and crop researchers. You can use Genesys to order material from CGIAR and other genebanks.

The accessions in the CGIAR genebanks are international public goods that the genebanks make available under conditions set out in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. In essence, recipients of material agree that they will not further restrict the availability of such material and, if they do restrict access to new varieties derived from genebank material, they will pay a certain percentage into a common fund.

CGIAR genebanks are working towards implementing quality monitoring systems that will ensure that their operations meet the highest standards related to seed health, viability and purity and overall operational procedures.

In addition to preserving biodiversity useful to agriculture, genebanks can also contribute directly to improve the livelihoods of farming communities. For example, several genebanks have restored lost and forgotten landraces and farmer varieties to communities from which they were collected. Many are also working directly with farmers in participatory breeding and selection activities to help them adapt their farming systems to the challenges of climate change.

The CGIAR collections will not in and of themselves increase food security or ensure sustainability. They are, however, essential to all such efforts.

Passport Data Completeness Index

Average PDCI score for 798,440 accessions is 6.43, with minimum score of 1.00 and maximum score of 10.00.

Read about Passport Data Completeness Index