Crop Biotech Update

Partnership to Protect Yam and Taro Diversity in the Pacific

June 18, 2009

The Global Crop Diversity Trust announced that it has entered into an agreement with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) to protect the important collections of yams and edible aroids (taro) from different countries in the Pacific region. The Trust will provide USD 50,000 annually, in perpetuity, towards the long-term conservation of the collections held in-trust by the Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT). A significant portion of the fund was used to put up a new storage center, which will provide excellent facilities for long-term conservation of plant genetic resources. The center is set to open in September 2009.

The SPC said that the partnership means a lot for the conservation of the region's crop diversity. The Trust noted that the importance of crop diversity to sustainable development in the Pacific region is becoming more and more apparent, especially as farmers try to maintain and improve food production in the face of a changing climate.

The press release is available at http://www.croptrust.org/documents/Press%20Releases/Press%20Brief%20-%20SPC%20Grant%20Agreement.pdf