On the trail of taro: Safeguarding the prestige crop of the Pacific

Sefra Alexandra Levin, Genebank Impact Fellow

Sefra, the Seed Huntress, is an ethnobotanist on a perennial endurance race to preserve the biodiversity of our earth through seed conservation. As a Genebank Impacts Fellow for the Crop Trust, she conducted fieldwork in the South Pacific, highlighting the role global germplasm diversity played in safeguarding the prestige crop Colocasia esculenta. As Directress of Expeditions for Tactivate, she fortifies community seed banks on island nations after natural disasters to ensure food security through seed sovereignty. In her hometown in Connecticut, USA, she is reviving an allium heirloom through the Southport Globe Onion Initiative and seed library to mentor citizens in stewardship through the formation of a local seedshed. Currently, she is pioneering an organic eco-regional pollinator seed pathway to caretake the local entomological ecology. She holds her Teaching Masters in Agroecology from Cornell University, is a member of the Explorer’s Club, and is a WINGS WorldQuest flag carrier.

The Genebanks

The 11 CGIAR genebanks currently conserve 730,000 of cereals and grain legumes, forage crops, tree species, root and tuber crops, bananas and crop wild relatives.