Global Doomsday Seed Vault To Get New Batch Of 20,000 Seed Samples

According to Crop Trust, the Global Doomsday Seed Vault in Norway is getting a new batch of 20,000 seed samples.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, which acts as a backup facility for the world’s largest variety of crops against potential seed extinction due to a global calamity, is set to receive close to 20,000 seed samples.

Officially opened in 2008, the seed vault is set about 394 feet into a mountainside on Spitsbergen Island. With 20 gene bank depositors donating 19,585 seed samples in the latest batch, the total number of seed samples at the vault now exceeds 1.2 million, according to Crop Trust, a nonprofit established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2004.

This makes the Svalbard vault home to the largest crop diversity collection in the world located in a single place. The latest batch will include seeds from countries depositing for the first time such as Albania, North Macedonia, Benin, and Croatia, Crop Trust reported.

“From here in Svalbard, the world looks different. This Seed Vault represents hope, unity, and security,” Stefan Schmitz, executive director of Crop Trust, said in the report.

“In a world where the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, natural catastrophes, and conflicts increasingly destabilize our food systems, it has never been more important to prioritize safeguarding these tiny seeds that hold so much potential to adapt our future food to such global threats.”

The Svalbard seed vault is estimated to contain 642 million seeds in total. It has the capacity to store up to 2.5 billion seeds. Food crops make up much of the stored seeds, with 69 percent being grains, of which 85 million are rice seeds.

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