Report released on February 28, 2005 at a Congressional Briefing in Washington DC:

Safeguarding the future of U.S. agriculture: The need to conserve threatened collections of crop diversity worldwide by Calvin O. Qualset and Henry L. Shands.

This document consists of 45 text pages and 12 pages of introductory material including an executive summary. It was published by GRCP on behalf of the Global Crop Diversity Trust and is available here as the full document in Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) portable document format (pdf). Acrobat Reader is available from Adobe Systems Incorporated as a free download.

Full document (57 pages plus color cover): 4.77Mb

The report points to deteriorating conditions in the world’s crop genebanks as a major threat to U.S. agriculture, which is already losing at least $20 to $33 billion each year to plant pests and disease. A potential solution, highlighted in the report, lies in the newly created Global Crop Diversity Trust, an independent, international organization, established in 2004 to support crop diversity conservation over the long term. Initiated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Consultative Group
on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the Trust is building a $260 million endowment through donations from national governments, philanthropic foundations, and private corporations. The first priority of the Trust is to rescue collections in developing countries that are at risk today. The governments of Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Peru, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Sweden, Syria, Togo, and Tonga have so far signed on as supporters of the Trust. The government of Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, recently donated $50,000 to the Trust endowment. The Trust has raised about $56 million to date. The Trust is an element of the funding strategy of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which became law on 29 June 2004.

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