A new delivery of the world’s most precious seeds, including Japanese barley, Brazilian beans and red Tennessee okra has arrived at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, buried deep under the permafrost halfway between Norway and the North Pole.
820,619 samples are now stored within the ‘Doomsday Seed Vault’ on the Svalbard Archipelago, where ice and thick rock protects seeds stored in sub-zero temperatures against power loss, earthquake, nuclear holocaust and tsunami.
Operated by the Global Crop Diversity Trust and owned by the Norwegian Government, it’s hoped that one day the vault will keep duplicates of all food crop seeds from around the world as “the ultimate insurance policy for the world’s food supply”.
Says Marie Haga, the Crop Trust’s executive director:
“Our annual gatherings at the seed vault are a sort of winter Olympics of crop diversity, only we are not competing against each other but against the wide array of threats, natural and manmade, ranged against the diversity of food crops, diversity that is so crucial to the future of human civilization. We are particularly excited to be welcoming our first seed deposits from Japan, which has been very active globally in the preservation of a wide array of crop species.”
Read more at The Crop Trust