On Thursday April 13, Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende and Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, Åslaug Marie Haga, signed an agreement securing support for the final phase of the Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change; Collecting, Protecting and Preparing Crop Wild Relatives project, aimed at securing global crop diversity. The signing ceremony took place at the World Bank in Washington D.C.

Norway has already supported the first two phases, through 2016, with a total of NOK 195 million (USD 23.5 million).

The project develops varieties of plants that can be used by commercial seed companies and farmers alike in order to be prepared for future climate challenges.

Norway has for many years exercised a global leadership in ensuring agricultural diversity. The world’s largest secure seed storage has been in operation in the remote arctic archipelago of Svalbard since 2008.


Says Foreign Minister Børge Brende:

“The project on development of climate-adapted seeds and food crops is an important contribution to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and also to the new Sustainable Development Goals. It is particularly relevant for goal number 2 on food security and nutrition”.

Says Executive Director Marie Haga:

“Climate change poses the greatest challenge ever to food production. Agriculture worldwide has to adapt to new challenges, such as new pests and diseases, higher temperature, less water and soil degradation. It will need crop diversity to do so. Genes in the wild relatives of the domesticated crops might well hold the key to solving these problems.

The Norwegian funded project on crop wild relatives is a unique global effort to identity, collect, conserve and use this wild diversity for food security. We are extremely grateful for the support of the Government of Norway and appreciate it’s visionary commitment to help many of the world’s most important food security crops adapt to climate change.

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