CIAT, the Global Crop Trust and the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), invited the Access to Seeds Index for an expert review meeting on metrics underpinning strategies for the conservation and better use of the world’s food and agriculture crops. The meeting took place on 24 and 25 July 2019 at FAO in Rome.
While in general conservation and use strategies tend to focus at single or only a few crops, this effort is much more comprehensive. It looks not at individual crops, but at a total of around 350, representing all the important crop groups for food and agriculture. This includes also the four crop groups that make up the scope of the Access to Seeds Index: cereals, legumes, vegetables, and local crops.
By mining the already large number of available databases, metrics are developed for:
- crop use (where crops are produced and traded),
- to what extend crop use is inside or outside crops’ centres of diversity (interdepence of genetic resources),
- demand for and available supply of crop genetic diversity,
- and whether crop genetic resources are at risk.
The data gathered by the Access to Seeds Index is of great interest for the project, because it provides a unique contribution to understanding the relevance of crop genetic resources for seed companies, in particular related to breeding and marketing of crop varieties in low and middle income countries.
The project team and the Access to Seeds Index agreed to further collaboration on data exchange in the coming months.