Genebanks: Preserving plant genetic diversity to fight hunger and cope with climate change
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 75 percent of plant genetic diversity was lost in the last century alone. With each plant species lost, the world loses the impact its genetic potential might have in safeguarding the global food supply. Each plant adapts to the stresses it faces in its environments. Such adaptations could be the key to developing new varieties that help farmers confront pest infestations, disease and the challenges posed by climate change.
Genebanks, such as the one housed at the International Potato Center (known as CIP for its acronym in Spanish) help preserve diversity that can be used to fuel crop-driven hunger solutions for generations to come.