A 10-year US $50 million programme focused on crop wild relative collection and pre-breeding for climate change adaptation.

Photo: Tumwegamire, S., International Potato Center (CIP)

Année de résultat

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CIAT
After CCAFS research showed that wild relatives were coming under increasing threat, the Norwegian Government funded a new project which will collect, conserve and prepare the wild relatives of 29 key crops for climate change adaptation.

Summary

CCAFS research demonstrated the threats posed to crop wild relatives by climate change and habitat conversion. Analyses showed the very poor conservation status of these gene pools. Based on this work, the Global Crop Diversity Trust made crop wild relative collecting a high priority activity. Thereafter, the Norwegian Government funded the Global Crop Diversity Trust and the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, Kew, to establish the 10-year USD 50 million ‘Adapting agriculture to climate change: collecting, protecting and preparing crop wild relatives’ project focused on crop wild relative collection and pre-breeding for climate change adaptation. Strategic planning research for collecting activities was led by scientists from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in collaboration with the University of Birmingham. Regular discussions with the Global Crop Diversity Trust were fundamental in the prioritizing and design of the programme. The project aims to collect the wild relatives of 29 key crops, conserve the specimens in gene-banks, and prepare them for use in plant breeding programmes in time to breed new crop varieties adapted to new climates. The project commenced in 2011, and CIAT continues to provide support in defining priorities.

Key facts

  • CCAFS research demonstrated the threats posed to crop wild relatives by climate change and habitat conversion.

  • Analyses showcased the very poor conservation status of these crop wild relative gene pools.

  • The ‘Adapting agriculture to climate change: collecting, protecting and preparing crop wild relatives’ project aims to collect, conserve, and breed with the wild relatives of 29 key crops over a 10 year period in order to enhance food security through climate change adaptation.

Lessons: key elements of success

  • Partnership with a key institution was critical to success, in this particular case with the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

Related research outputs