Genebanks play a vital role in the long-term conservation of crop diversity.
In order to fulfil that role effectively, they must have adequate facilities, capacity and operating mechanisms to reach and maintain scientific and technical standards.
Since 2012, the Crop Trust with support of the Genebank Platform has coordinated external reviews of the 11 CGIAR centers, to:
- assess the operations and activities of the genebank;
- assess the roles, services and use of the genebank, and the linkages with users and partners both within and outside the CGIAR;
- determine the status of the genebank with respect to performance targets and the feasibility of proposed workplans to reach targets;
- consider the status of the genebank or individual collections within it, in the context of a global system for long-term conservation and use of the crop(s) in question;
- determine the general appropriateness of current expenditures for the routine operations of the genebank with reference to Costing Study estimates;
- provide actionable recommendations related to all of the above.
The recommendations provide important inputs for the development of genebank performance targets, quality management systems, priorities for funding and annual workplans. Genebanks receiving funding from the Crop Trust endowment fund will continue to be reviewed approximately every five years.