New Seeds in Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Svalbard Global Seed Vault welcomes shipments from four new depositors. The world’s largest repository of crop diversity raises the number of the samples in its care to 1.29 million.

A total of 20,683 seed samples from 15 genebanks join hundreds of thousands of other seeds stored in the vault. Amongst the 15 genebanks four are new and deposit their seeds for the very first time. Two genebanks are from Benin, one from Armenia and one from Indonesia. This is the vault's second opening this year. 

– Svalbard Global Seed Vault is the world's ultimate security facility for global seed diversity, whic is is an essential part of countries preparedness for future food production. I am extremely happy to see four new seed banks depositing their seeds in the Seed Vault, says the Norwegian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Geir Pollestad.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Credit: Ragnhild Utne

In the vault valuable collections of crop diversity are preserved to ensure that the world’s agriculture is future-proofed for the benefit of all humanity. Scientists and breeders rely on crop diversity conserved in genebanks to develop new varieties of crops that can withstand the effects of climate change. The seeds stored at the Seed Vault serve as a back-up to collections held elsewhere.

The depositors back up their seed collections in case of unforeseen crises, such as war, civil strife, financial woes or natural disasters. For 16 years, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault has been future-proofing agriculture and food systems by steadily expanding its family of seed depositors. 

The Seed Vault operates through a partnership between the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Nordic Genetic Resource Center (NordGen) and the Crop Trust.

Genebanks in Armenia, Benin and Indonesia join the Seed Vault’s ranks of depositors for the first time. Their deposit is supported by the Biodiversity for Opportunities, Livelihoods and Development (BOLD) project, a 10-year initiative launched in 2021. BOLD is founded by the Government of Norway to strengthen food and nutrition security worldwide through the conservation and use of crop diversity.

The largest deposits at the opening come from the World Vegetable Centre (WorldVeg, based in Taiwan), followed by the National Agrobiodiversity Center (South Korea), and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA, based in Lebanon).