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Mike Knowles



Tuesday 2nd June 2009, 10:26 Central Time

New funds for varietal development

Announcement in Tunis reveals financial support will be made available to a number of agricultural projects worldwide

New funds for varietal development

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Eleven developing countries which conserve food seeds and other genetic material from major crops are to receive more than US$500,000 in financial support for their efforts, according to an announcement made today in Tunis at a high-level meeting of the governing body of the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources in Food and Agriculture.

Grants are to be awarded to projects in Egypt, Kenya, Costa Rica, India, Peru, Senegal, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Cuba, Tanzania and Morocco.

According to the UN Food & Agriculture Organization, this is the first time funds have become available under the benefit-sharing scheme of the Treaty, designed to compensate farmers in developing countries for their role in conserving crop varieties.

The projects were chosen from hundreds of applications and have come to fruition thanks to the generous donations from Norway, Italy, Spain and Switzerland in support of agriculture and food security.

Among the projects to be supported are one involving on-farm protection of citrus agro-biodiversity in Egypt, as well as a conservation project for indigenous potato varieties in Peru.

For a full list of the projects being supported, click here.

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