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First deposit of seeds from India in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault for safeguarding nation's future food and nutritional security

ICAR (Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India) has taken a step forward in securing its crop genetic diversity by depositing 25 accessions of pigeon pea in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV). The material was deposited on April 9, 2014 by the Indian delegation led by Sh. Ashish Bahuguna, Secretary (A&C), which also included Dr. Manas K. Mandal, Director General (Life Sciences), DRDO and Dr. K C Bansal, Director, NBPGR (ICAR). This was the first such deposit by India as 'safety duplicates' in the global gene bank, which is jointly maintained and managed by the Norway's department of agriculture and the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT) under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). The SGSV, commissioned in February 2008, is located in the far north, in the permafrost region, in the remote arctic island of Svalbard (Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, 780 North), only about 1300 miles from the North Pole. The purpose of the SGSV is to ensure future food security by conserving rare seed material or 'safety duplicates' of food and forage crops already conserved in the national gene banks across the world. So far, 58 institutions across the world have deposited their precious germplasm raising the total number of accessions conserved in the SGSV to over 0.8 million. ICAR from India becomes the 59th such institution to add for the first time pigeon pea seeds in the SGSV. ..Read more