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FAO endorses Genebank Standards for plant genetic resources

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José Graziano da Silva - FAO Director-General
José Graziano da Silva – FAO Director-General

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said the adoption of a Genebank Standards for Plant Genetic Resources is a major accomplishment for the organisation.

It said the new international standards would help genebanks worldwide conserve plant diversity in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.

FAO’s Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture at its 14th Regular Session meeting in Rome endorsed the Genebank Standards for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

A statement issued by the FAO, said the international standards aimed at conserving plant diversity in genebanks

“Genebank Standards is a major accomplishment for the current and future preservation of plant diversity for food and nutrition security, these standards will be extremely valuable for opening funding opportunities for genebanks as well as increasing use of these valuable resources,” the statement cited Brad Fraleigh, Chairman of the meeting.

The statement said the Genebank Standards were voluntary but had a universal value and utility in guiding the management for seeds, for germplasm maintained in field collections, as well as conserved through cryopreservation and in vitro culture.

It said genebanks were developed in response to the new technical advances and the increased coverage of plant diversity collections adding that a systematic application of these standards would require mobilization of financial resources for upgrading professional skills in developing countries.

Source: GNA

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