Crop Wild Relatives

Why CWR?

Crop wild relatives (CWR) are to our food plants what wolves are to dogs. If that does not make them sound very useful, it’s giving the wrong impression. That’s because CWR contain an incredible amount of genetic diversity, representing an invaluable resource for crop improvement. Many of their traits have the potential to help crops become more resistant and resilient, and adapt to the new conditions that they will experience due to climate change.

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Why are CWR important

Our work

The project Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change: Collecting, Protecting, and Preparing Crop Wild Relatives is a major global effort to conserve CWR and facilitate their use in crop breeding for food security. It supports national programmes to collect and conserve CWR, as well as collaborative pre-breeding projects around the world. This initiative, which is supported by the Government of Norway, has a planned duration of ten years.

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The project

Who we are

The project is managed by the Global Crop Diversity Trust with the Millennium Seed Bank of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and implemented in partnership with national and international genebanks as well as plant breeding programs around the world.


The partners map


Our case studies



Crop Wild Relatives: The Nexus of Conservation and Agriculture


Cyprus and Italy Complete Crop Wild Relative Seed Collecting

Feature Stories

Policy Brief: In situ and ex situ conservation, Two sides of the same coin

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