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BBC News: Ghana deposits seeds in Arctic Circle 'doomsday vault'

BBC News: Ghana deposits seeds in Arctic Circle 'doomsday vault'

Image by: LM Salazar / Crop Trust

25 October 2023

West Africa business journalist, Nkechi Ogbonna from BBC News, reports on the recent deposit to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Ghana has deposited seeds in the Arctic Circle's "doomsday vault" in an attempt to ensure the long-term protection of the country’s major food crops.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a facility nestled in an arctic mountain on the remote Norweigan island of Spitsbergen, safeguards over 1.2 million seed samples, the world’s largest collection of crop diversity in any single location.

The vault is owned by the Norwegian govenment and designed to withstand all natural and human disasters.

According to its operators, the facility provides permanent protection and preservation for food crops to ensure future global food security in the wake of disaster, earning it the nickname “doomsday vault”.

Ghana's deposit was made by the West Africa country’s Plant Research Institute, CSIR-PGRRI, and includes key crops like maize, rice, eggplant and black-eyed peas.

The Crop Trust, which runs the seed vault, said it has seeds from almost every country on Earth.

Ghana follows African nations like Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia in making a deposit.

“This, our very first safety back-up, provides a sense of relief that our collections of crop diversity are on the path to being secured in perpetuity for the benefit of all humanity,” Daniel Kotey, Senior Research Scientist at CSIR-PGRRI said.

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