Voluntary benefit-sharing activities of the European seed industry

What is voluntary benefit-sharing?

The basic objectives of biodiversity legislation are conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources and the sharing of benefits that arise from their use. In fact, benefit-sharing is rather a tool enabling the conservation and the sustainable use of genetic resources with crucial importance in achieving the goals of biodiversity legislation.

Benefit-sharing can be mandatory and voluntary. Mandatory benefit-sharing is usually based on contractual terms, whereas voluntary benefit-sharing activities are based on own initiatives of users of genetic resources. Voluntary benefit-sharing can take different forms: it can be monetary providing direct financial support for conservation and use or it can be non-monetary (in-kind). In-kind activities supporting the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources happen in various forms and take place at national, regional or international level.

In order to find out more about the types of voluntary benefit-sharing activities the seed sector is engaged in and to view the specific projects, please select a type of activity here below.

 

Nepal

Agriterra – Nepal

Together with Agriterra, a specialist in agricultural cooperatives, Enza Zaden helps small-scale farmers by sharing its expertise with them. These farmers produce good quality seed of their own varieties themselves, to ensure better crops for themselves and to sell on the open market. The project focuses on three local crops: chili peppers, dry beans and broad leaf mustard, each of which  takes place in a differenct Nepalese village south of the Kathmandu valley.

Contact: Edith Bakker

Website: www.enzazaden.com

Children’s Home Dharan – Nepal

Every Christmas, Enza Zaden’s employees in the Netherlands are offered the possibility of donating the value of their Christmas box to charity. In 2016 that charity was Children’s Home Dharan, a foundation focusing on small-scale projetcs. Two of those projects relate to orphanages, but Enza Zaden’s contribution goes to a third project: the primary school ''Dipendra''.

Contact: Edith Bakker

Website: www.enzazaden.com

Spain

Agrovegetal

A local company, Agrovegetal, active in the region of Andalusia, is directly involved in the PGRFA Committee of the region which discusses PGRFA policy for the region.

 

Contact person for more information: Ignacio Solís (Technical Director of Agrovegetal)  isolis@agrovegetal.es

 

INNPACTO AVENASIN

The company Agrovegetal is involved in the INNPACTO AVENASIN project which focuses on genetic evaluation of oat lines from the National Small Grains Collection (USDA) to develop new varieties of oats gluten free for people with celiac disease and offer farmers greater diversification from traditional crops. This project is funded by Spanish Government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

 

Contact person for more information: Ignacio Solís (Technical Director of Agrovegetal) isolis@agrovegetal.es

 

SOLIBAM

The Spanish company, Agrovegetal, is involved in the Collaborative EU Project SOLIBAM (Strategies for Organic and Low-input Integrated Breeding and Management) FP7 2010-2014. In the framework of this project the company tests, in field conditions, the performance of different inbred lines of faba bean for developing new varieties. These are traditional varieties of faba bean from the Spanish Institute for Sustainable Agriculture Gene Bank.

The policy recommendations of the SOLIBAM project are available here

 

Website: www.solibam.eu

Contact person for more information: Ignacio Solís (Technical Director of Agrovegetal) isolis@agrovegetal.es

 

Tanzania

Baraa Primary School – Tanzania

Baraa is a primary school with hundreds of pupils. Enza Zaden’s financial support  has enabled the school to invest in an irrigation system for its kitchen garden, in which the pupils learn how to grow traditional vegetables. The garden also plays an important part in providing food for the pupils.

The vegetable garden provides nutrient-rich green vegetables that are consumed as part of the daily lunch. We know that our programme has a big impact on our students‘ lives. In 2016 our malnutrition checks showed that 66% of the students who had participated in the programme in the previous year were no longer malnourished. We will, however continue to feed them, because without school food their status cannot be maintained. And hungry whildren do not learn, and often drop out of school.

Contact: Edith Bakker

Website: www.enzazaden.com

 

SEVIA (Seeds of Expertise for the Vegetable Sector of Africa)

SEVIA is a project, initiated by Rijk Zwaan, East West and Wageningen University, supported by the Dutch government. SEVIA aims to contribute to the development of the vegetable industry in Africa and to food security, for example by developing and disseminating adapted technical innovations in order to enhance productivity and to increase farmers' income and by carrying out variety testing trials to identify well adapted varieties per region.

 

Contact person for more information: Heleen Bos h.bos@rijkzwaan.nl

 

Vi Agroforestry – Tanzania

Eight hundred small-scale farmers in the Sengerema region on the southern shore of Lake Victoria have succeeded in increasing their vegetable production with help from the NGO Vi Agroforestry and sustainable agricultural methods.

The project has two aims, the first being to increase yields and improve the vegetables‘ keeping quality. The modern hybrid varieties improve the quality of the crops, making them suitable for transport to the nearby cities, too. This greatly boosts the local economy.

Enza Zaden also financially supports  Vi Agroforestry’s second aim, which is to further develop sustainable vegetable production in Sengerema. This includes helping the farmers to adapt more effectively to climate change, for example by improving the farming system on and around their arable land with certain larger tree species. This way they can to some extent counterbalance deforestation while simultaneously generationg extra income from the sale of wood on top of that of their fruit and vegetables.

Contact: Edith Bakker

Website: www.enzazaden.com

 

Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA)

Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) is a public-private partnership to develop drought-tolerant and insect protected maize that will be available royalty-free to smallholder farmers in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda through local seed companies. Monsanto Company has contributed germplasm and intends to eventually donate biotechnology derived proprietary traits to this project.

Monsanto Company also contributes in-kind support in the form of molecular breeding and some technical expertise with the goal of getting improved maize germplasm into the hands of farmers in WEMA countries.  

 

Contact: Roy Cantrell roy.cantrell@monsanto.com

 

Taiwan

Benefit sharing from Seed Companies to the World Vegetable Center

Financial support to the World Vegetable Center

The World Vegetable Center’s tomato breeding program has received financial support from I&B (previously known as Indus, Sasya) India; Kagome Co., Japan; and Heinz USA. In 1996, seed of 2 Cytoplasmatic Male Sterile peppers and their maintainer lines were donated by Choong Ang Seed Co., Korea, and Seminis provided a small amount of financial support for this research. Recently, bitter gourd breeding has received financial support from four Indian companies. Additionally, support has been received from seed companies to arrange conferences. In general, the support provided accounts for less than 1% of the Center’s annual budget.

 

In-kind support for breeding at the World Vegetable Center

Various in-kind contributions have been received from the seed industry. In general, the dollar value of these contributions is difficult to estimate. Among others, the following contributions have been received during the last ten years:

  • Syngenta-India hosted a tomato field trial in Karnal, India (Oct 2007) as a voluntary contribution to a World Vegetable Center-led DFID project. The trial included 53 tomato entries from 13 seed companies. Syngenta hosted a field day for researchers from our institution, the University of Agricultural Sciences-Bangalore, the Natural Resource Institute UK, and seed company breeders to review the trial.
  • Namdhari Seed Co. India hosted a tomato field trial in Bangalore, India in May 2007 as a voluntary contribution to a World Vegetable Center-led DFID project. The trial included 63 tomato entries from 20 seed companies. Namdhari hosted a field day for several thousand farmers and researchers to review the trial.
  • Sasya-India multiplied seed of four World Vegetable Center onion lines from April 2009-May 2010. The operation required two seasons to complete. Sasya also carried out seed multiplication of 7 tomato hybrids at the Center’s request.
  • Monsanto USA evaluated 15 World Vegetable Center Allium cepa x A. fistulosum onion populations for resistance to three diseases and multiplied seed in 2015.
  • JK Seeds, India voluntary evaluated 20 World Vegetable Center-selected anthracnose resistant and susceptible lines in 2014-15.
  • In 2014, VNR Seeds, India provided a success story with a hybrid cultivar, which was derived from a World Vegetable Center inbred line.

 

In-kind support for World Vegetable Center genebank regeneration

In-kind contributions for regeneration of priority germplasm have been received from two seed companies (Rijk Zwaan and Enza Zaden). These contributions account for about 3% of our annual regenerations, but make up less than 1% of the budget for the World Vegetable Center genebank.

 

In-kind contribution to disaster seed kits

In collaboration with the Center, seed companies in different locations have participated in the preparation and/or distribution of seed kits after disasters. For example: Survivors of the December 2004 tsunami in Indonesia and Sri Lanka received seed provided by 8 seed companies from 5 countries in 2005. In Taiwan in 2009-2010, seed kits were delivered to people affected by Typhoon Morakot. In 2014, East-West Seed Indonesia provided 10,000 seed kits that were distributed in East Java and North Sumatra to people affected by volcanic eruptions. However, the economic value of such contributions is difficult to estimate.  

 

Technical input or exchange with the World Vegetable Center

Cooperation between the Asia & Pacific Seed Association (APSA) and the World Vegetable Center benefits both organizations. For APSA members, the agreement provides early and priority access to World Vegetable Center research and development results; the chance to interact directly with World Vegetable Center staff at workshops; and preferential rates for (and in some instances, early access to) World Vegetable Center germplasm and breeding lines. For the World Vegetable Center, the main benefits come from the core funding provided; the opportunity to better align the Center's work with some of the pertinent issues identified by the private sector; and the opportunity to utilize APSA's network to disseminate the Center's international public goods. The Center ships seed from its collection at the request of any APSA member. APSA helped the Center's genebank collection expand by sharing lines with interesting horticultural characteristics. The Center encouraged all APSA members to acknowledge the use of World Vegetable Center germplasm in their catalogs. However, only a few companies have done so. Some APSA companies, i.e. Clover Seeds (Hong Kong) and Known-You Seed (Taiwan) have sent their staff to the Center for short-term training.

Kagome Japan provided protocols for three tomato molecular markers in 2014-2015 for World Vegetable Center in-house use. Sasya and Mahyco (India) contributed seed of tomato breeding lines for World Vegetable Center use. Twenty-five seed companies are participating in an ongoing World Vegetable Center-led collaborative project to evaluate a set of tomato lines representing different resistance gene combinations for resistance to tomato yellow leaf curl diseases (TYLCD) in South, Southeast, and East Asia. Participating companies established field trials in disease hotspots and evaluated TYLCD incidence and severity according to a common evaluation protocol.

Seed companies have contributed technical support by collaborating on some varietal trials in Africa.

 

Contact person: Svein Solberg, svein.solberg@worldveg.org  

LINK : http://avrdc.org/

Czech Republic

Breeders’ cooperation in research projects

An important contribution of the Czech breeding industry to evaluation and effective use of genetic resources is breeders’ cooperation in research projects focused on the evaluation of collections (search for new sources of genetic diversity, selection and evaluation of major donors of valuable characters, genetic characterization using DNA and protein markers, creating pre-breeding materials, creation of "core" collection, introduction and validation of new and neglected crops and others).

These projects implemented under the support of the national science foundations or Ministry of Education have contributed significantly to the understanding of genetic diversity in collections and have increased their value to users.

Participation of breeding sites has allowed the implementation of such projects and in many cases led to the effective use of genetic resources in plant breeding.

 

Contact person for more information: Vojtěch Holubec holubec@vurv.cz

 

Collections of the National Programme

New genetic resources are provided by private breeders also directly to gene banks. These genetic resources are coming from their own breeding work and also from their collecting expeditions in the Czech Republic and abroad. These genetic resources may be made available to third parties.

The following table provides an overview of genetic resources provided by domestic breeding organizations in the collections of the National Programme during the past 10 years:

 

CROP

No. of  GRs from breeders

Winter barley

147

Alfalfa

61

Potatoes

50

Clovers

36

Grasses

28

Winter wheat

27

Grasses

52

Oats

18

Vegetables

41

Peas

15

Spring wheat

14

Beans

9

Potatoes

9

Phacelia

8

Field bean

7

Pear

6

Other crops (33)

120

Total

639

 

Contact person for more information: Vojtěch Holubec holubec@vurv.cz

 

Czech Board on PGR

Representatives of breeders are members of the Czech Board on PGR, which is the coordinating and advisory body of the Czech National Program on PGR Conservation and Utilization. In this way they can influence the activities of the National Program and pay attention to user oriented approach of the projects. The representatives of breeders have also influence on the creation of special core-collections that are determined for more optimal use of genetic resources for different breeding aims. The chairman of the Board is also the national co-ordinator of the PGR in The Crop Research Institute (CRI). CRI coordinates the national programme on the conservation of the plant genetic resources.

 

Contact person for more information: Vojtěch Holubec holubec@vurv.cz

European Cooperative Program for Plant Genetic Resources

The 7 private breeding companies involved in the Czech National Program on PGR Conservation and Utilization also take part in the European Cooperative Program for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR); some of them contribute to ECPGR by specific in-kind activities: for example the European Flax Database is run by AGRITEC Šumperk, a Czech private company active in pulses, fiber and oil crops.

 

Contact person for more information: Martin Pavelek pavelek@agritec.cz

 

EVIGEZ

7 private breeding companies contribute directly as partners to the Czech National Program on PGR Conservation and Utilization and are responsible for maintenance and increase of crop collections (in co-operation with the gene bank), characterization, documentation, evaluation and regeneration of PGR. In vegetatively reproduced species, the institutes holding collections are responsible for a long-term conservation of plant genetic resources, as well. The Gene Bank in CRI Praha provides long-term storage of seed samples for all seed-propagated species as well as services of the National Information System on Plant Genetic Resources (EVIGEZ) for all co-operating institutions.

All information about genetic resources is in EVIGEZ (Plant Genetic Resources Documentation). All genetic resources in EVIGEZ are part of the Treaty’s Multilateral System.

The documentation system of EVIGEZ consists of three main data sets:

- Passport data

- Characterization and evaluation data

- Documentation of seed store in the Gene Bank

The information is held centrally in the Gene Bank of RICP Prague and partial information is stored also in crop specialized institutions, which co-operate within the Czech National Program on Conservation and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources and Agro-biodiversity.  

 

Contact person for more information: Vojtěch Holubec holubec@vurv.cz

 

United Kingdom

BSPB collection at the John Innes Centre

BSPB members routinely deposit material of their national list entries for new cereal varieties into a special BSPB collection at the John Innes Centre Germplasm Resources Unit (approximately 100 new lines annually).

Once material is national listed it is transferred into the main BBSRC collections from which it is available to users under the terms of the Multilateral System of the International Treaty.

 

Contact person for more information: Mike Ambrose (John Innes Centre) +44 (0) 1603 450000 | mike.ambrose@jic.ac.uk

 

IMPROMALT

IMPROMALT is a collaborative project led by the James Hutton Institute. Barley breeding companies are providing germplasm and backcrossing in work to introgress quality QTL from spring to winter barley backgrounds.

 

Contact person for more information: Bill Thomas (James Hutton Institute) +44 (0) 844 9285428 | bill.thomas@hutton.ac.uk

 

UK Plant Genetic Resources Group

BSPB, the British Society of Plant Breeders, is a member of the UK Plant Genetic Resources Group (UKPGRG). This Group serves as the technical forum to discuss and implement the conservation and use of plant genetic resources in the UK.

The broad membership includes both curators of ex situ plant genetic resource centres, those involved in in situ conservation, and representatives from non-governmental organisation, the commercial plant breeding sector (BSPB executive plus currently representatives from three commercial breeding companies) and Universities. Botanic gardens, the Forestry Commission and statutory collections are also represented.

The Group provides advice and technical support to Government Departments on technical and policy matters which relate to the UK or the UK's international role in the area of plant genetic resources.

 

Contact person for more information: Dr Nigel Maxted (Chairman UKPGRG) - (+44) 121 414 5571 | n.maxted@bham.ac.uk

 

Wheat Improvement Strategic Project (WISP)

The Wheat Improvement Strategic Project (WISP) based at the John Innes Centre with partners from Rothamsted, and Bristol and Nottingham universities and involving a coordinated approach to wheat genetics and pre-breeding with input of elite materials from 5 UK wheat breeding companies.

 

Contact person for more information: Prof. Graham Moore (JIC) +44 (0) 1603 450000 graham.moore@jic.ac.uk

 

Peru

CIP International Potato Centre

Peru, a country that has cultivated potatoes for nearly 7,000 years, boasts on having over 4,500 varieties of the world’s favourite vegetable, the potato. This tuber comes in all shapes, colours and sizes. They aren’t just pretty to look at, but also hold up to 5 times as much vitamins, carotene, zinc and antioxidants as regular potatoes!

The remarkable traits of these native potatoes are a valuable source in developing more resilient and nutritious spuds. In fact they open up a whole new world of possibilities in fighting poverty, malnutrition and securing the world’s food supply. This is exactly what CIP International Potato Centre is striving for.

HZPC and CIP, together with national partners in Peru (Grupo Yanapai, INIA, SPDA) have started to work on a novel model to practically implement benefit sharing with custodian farmers.

The consortium of institutions wants to empower the farmers to organize and represent themselves, so they benefit maximum from a start-up fund made available by HZPC. To give this shape they helped them to initiate an association, which is now running a pilot with 43 custodian farmers. The farmers recently spend their first money on agricultural inputs, education and health care.

 

Contact person for more information: http://www.hzpc.com/contact-3

Read additional material:

Efficiently managing maize resources in Peru

Peru is a diverse country: tropical climate prevails in the Eastern rain forests (“Selva”) while there is a dry desert climate in the West and in the coastal regions (“Costa”). The central Andes (“Sierra”) and the Andean plateau (“Altiplano”) are moderate to cold zones. This diversity is reflected in the agricultural systems. Peruvian smallholder farmers in all parts of the country are cultivating a multitude of maize and quinoa varieties. This biodiversity is at risk, due to increasingly extreme climate events and migration of young people to the cities, leading also to loss of the traditional knowledge concerning cultivation, use and preservation of the cultivated plants. The results: there is a chronic shortage of food especially in remote regions. A total of eight million Peruvians live below the poverty line, which is equivalent to almost 30 percent of about 30 million Peruvians.

The Capacity Building Initiative of KWS in Peru consists of various projects, completely financed by KWS, which in the long term are supposed to help improving the food security of Peruvian smallholder farmers.

In one of these projects, in cooperation with the National Agrarian University La Molina (UNALM, Lima) and Hohenheim University (Stuttgart), KWS is working on the improvement of maize genetic resources management in the UNALM gene bank. The available maize accessions from the Peruvian Costa, Selva, Sierra, and Altiplano regions are being characterized in field trials and genotyped in Hohenheim. For this purpose, an UNALM scientist is being trained in Hohenheim in genotyping, genetic diversity analysis, as well as in the identification of duplicates. All passport and characterization data are digitized and gathered in an online catalog. This project will improve gene bank efficiency and contribute to a more sustainable use of conserved maize resources.

Contact persons for more information: Paul Olson: paul.olson@kws.com, Walter Schmidt: walter.schmidt@kws.com  

Websites: Capacity Development initiative: www.kws.com/aw/KWS/company-info/Company/About-KWS/~hhox/Capacity-Development Peru project details: http://www.kws.com/li/bv/hhqn

 

 

New breeding strategies for quinoa in Peru

Peru is a diverse country: tropical climate prevails in the Eastern rain forests (“Selva”) while there is a dry desert climate in the West and in the coastal regions (“Costa”). The central Andes (“Sierra”) and the Andean plateau (“Altiplano”) are moderate to cold zones. This diversity is reflected in the agricultural systems. Peruvian smallholder farmers in all parts of the country are cultivating a multitude of maize and quinoa varieties. This biodiversity is at risk, due to increasingly extreme climate events and migration of young people to the cities, leading also to loss of the traditional knowledge concerning cultivation, use and preservation of the cultivated plants. The results: there is a chronic shortage of food especially in remote regions. A total of eight million Peruvians live below the poverty line, which is equivalent to almost 30 percent of about 30 million Peruvians.

The Capacity Building Initiative of KWS in Peru consists of various projects, completely financed by KWS, which in the long term are supposed to help improving the food security of Peruvian smallholder farmers.

One of the projects is focusing on new breeding strategies for quinoa. Quinoa is an annual, very nutritious grain crop that has been domesticated in the Andes about 4,000 years ago. The target of this project is to develop strategies for improved breeding. For this purpose, genetic variations and gains from the selection in crosses of different parental quinoa materials are studied. At the same time, the project tries to preserve the genetic resources of quinoa and to make it usable for a sustainable agriculture. Project partners include the National University of the Altiplano (UNAP, Puno) and Hohenheim University (UH). A Peruvian PhD student is involved in the project, being trained in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Karl Schmid (UH).

Contact persons for more information: Paul Olson: paul.olson@kws.com, Walter Schmidt: walter.schmidt@kws.com  

Websites: Capacity Development initiative: www.kws.com/aw/KWS/company-info/Company/About-KWS/~hhox/Capacity-Development Peru project details: http://www.kws.com/li/bv/hhqn

Strengthening national maize breeding programs in Peru

Peru is a diverse country: tropical climate prevails in the Eastern rain forests (“Selva”) while there is a dry desert climate in the West and in the coastal regions (“Costa”). The central Andes (“Sierra”) and the Andean plateau (“Altiplano”) are moderate to cold zones. This diversity is reflected in the agricultural systems. Peruvian smallholder farmers in all parts of the country are cultivating a multitude of maize and quinoa varieties. This biodiversity is at risk, due to increasingly extreme climate events and migration of young people to the cities, leading also to loss of the traditional knowledge concerning cultivation, use and preservation of the cultivated plants. The results: there is a chronic shortage of food especially in remote regions. A total of eight million Peruvians live below the poverty line, which is equivalent to almost 30 percent of about 30 million Peruvians.

The Capacity Building Initiative of KWS in Peru consists of various projects, completely financed by KWS, which in the long term are supposed to help improving the food security of Peruvian smallholder farmers.

One of the project compares different selection methods in local, open pollinated maize populations. The target is to illustrate the effects on the selection success. For this project, KWS cooperates with the maize improvement program of the National Institute of Agricultural Innovation (INIA, Cusco). Another experiment is used to enhance the maize tolerance to acid soils. Both trials are expected to strengthen national maize breeding programs and to deliver new, improved maize varieties for the Sierra areas.

Contact persons for more information: Paul Olson: paul.olson@kws.com, Walter Schmidt: walter.schmidt@kws.com  

Websites: Capacity Development initiative: www.kws.com/aw/KWS/company-info/Company/About-KWS/~hhox/Capacity-Development Peru project details: http://www.kws.com/li/bv/hhqn

Italy

Collection of hulled wheat varieties

A local little seed company (Prometeo, in the Region of Marche), specialized in hulled wheat, is growing a specific collection of hulled wheat varieties in cooperation with the public research institute of C.R.A. in Foggia.

 

Contact person for more information: info@prometeourbino.it

 

Dal seme al cibo (from seed to food)

CEFA – Il seme della solidarietà (the seed of solidarity), located in Bologna, is a private committee involved in projects for the sustainable development in rural areas of third countries. A specific sector of activity of CEFA is the program called: “Dal seme al cibo (from seed to food)”.

Since the existence of the project there have been important Italian seed companies involved in this project who donated quantities of seeds to be sent abroad for cooperation projects in particular in Albania and Sudan.

 

Contact person for more information: Giovanni Beccari  g.beccari@cefaonlus.it

 

Italian National Plan for Agricultural Biodiversity

Via a representative, the Italian seed sector was involved in the work which lead to the elaboration and adoption of the Italian National Plan for Agricultural Biodiversity in 2012 by the Italian Ministry of agriculture.

Also, the Italian seed association, Assosementi, is participating in the working groups under the Ministry of agriculture responsible for the implementation in Italy of the EU Directives on conservation varieties.

 

Contact person for more information: disr.segreteria@politicheagricole.it

 

Planta RES

PLANTA RES is a national network financed by the Italian Ministry for agriculture and consisting of several participants including all the local research units of CRA (National council for agricultural research). The database of Planta Res currently includes 241 genera and about 861 species, for a total of 48.987 accessions.

Work of the network includes collecting samples of genetic resources, defining a system of unique descriptors for the material and cataloguing them. Such accessions are then placed in the MLS of the International Treaty and exchanged by using the sMTA. CRA (in its capacity as breeder) is a member of ASSOSEMENTI (the Italian seed association). Exchanges and cooperation between seed companies and the research units of CRA are common practice.

 

Contact person: Dr. F. Roberto De Salvador fr.desalvador@gmail.com    

 

Voluntary contribution of the European seed industry to the Benefit Sharing Fund of the IT PGRFA

In 2015 ESA, the European Seed Association donated 300.000€ directly to the Benefit Sharing Fund of the Treaty. This money was collected by ESA from its company and association members and was given directly to the Treaty expressing the support and engagement of the European seed sector towards the Treaty and its Multilateral System.

 

Contact: Szonja Csörgő szonjacsorgo@euroseeds.eu

 

Whealbi project

Under the 7th Framework Program of the EU the Whealbi project (“Wheat and barley Legacy for Breeding Improvement”) was launched in 2014. One of the objectives of the project is to develop guidelines and protocols for Next Generation Valorization and Utilization of PGRFA collections.

There are some plant breeding companies involved in this project as project partners, one of which is an Italian seed company SIS, Società Italiana Sementi.

 

Contact person for more information: Gilles Charmet (Coordinateur du projet Whealbi, Unité de recherche "Génétique, diversité et écophysiologie des céréales") gilles.charmet@clermont.inra.fr

 

Poland

Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources

The Polish plant breeding industry is closely collaborating with public authorities in the conservation of plant genetic resources.

These activities are coordinated by the Polish Ministry of Agriculture with the participation of the Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute; the Institute of Horticulture, the Botanical Garden of the Polish Academy of Sciences and bigger private seed companies such as Poznan Plant Breeding, Smolice Plant Breeding, Strzelce Plant Breeding, Malopolska Plant Breeding and Danko Plant Breeding.

The activities cover one project for agricultural crops and another for horticultural crops.

 

Contact person for more information: Zofia Bulińska (coordinator of the National Programme for the protection of plant genetic resources)  z.bulinska@ihar.edu.pl

 

Albania

Dal seme al cibo (from seed to food)

CEFA – Il seme della solidarietà (the seed of solidarity), located in Bologna, is a private committee involved in projects for the sustainable development in rural areas of third countries.

A specific sector of activity of CEFA is the program called: “Dal seme al cibo (from seed to food)”.

Since the existence of the project there have been important Italian seed companies involved in this project who donated quantities of seeds to be sent abroad for cooperation projects in particular in Albania and Sudan.

 

Contact person for more information: Giovanni Beccari  g.beccari@cefaonlus.it

Sudan

Dal seme al cibo (from seed to food)

CEFA – Il seme della solidarietà (the seed of solidarity), located in Bologna, is a private committee involved in projects for the sustainable development in rural areas of third countries.

A specific sector of activity of CEFA is the program called: “Dal seme al cibo (from seed to food)”.

Since the existence of the project there have been important Italian seed companies involved in this project who donated quantities of seeds to be sent abroad for cooperation projects in particular in Albania and Sudan.

 

Contact person for more information: Giovanni Beccari  g.beccari@cefaonlus.it

 

Portugal

Development of varieties for Africa

Some Portuguese companies have been working with American breeders on the development of varieties (mainly vegetable species) adapted to the conditions of Portuguese speaking countries in Africa.

 

Contact person for more information: Joana Lopes Aleixo anseme@anseme.pt

 

Variety evaluation

The Portuguese Plant Gene Bank is a state institution responsible for the conservation of plant genetic resources, at several levels:

-       Setting up collections of plant germplasm, by collecting or receiving copies of the materials or by the exchange of material within similar institutions.

-       Ex situ conservation (in chambers with a controlled temperature and humidity), in vitro by cryopreservation, or in a field collection.

-       In situ conservation: on farm conservation

-       Regeneration and multiplication of the genetic material, periodically. In order to have enough seeds and other propagation material available for future exchanges.

-       Profiling and evaluation of the conserved material in order to protect and acknowledge the genetic diversity and make the most of it by making it available

-       Documentation of all the information of every access since the starting point, profiling, evaluation, use exchange, until the conservation routine.

-       Exchange: Reception and distribution of the genetic material.

 

There are financed projects in place, between companies and INIAV, the Portuguese Institute for Agriculture and Veterinary Research, to evaluate varieties (for forage and pasture purposes) from the national plant gene bank, in order to develop new varieties which will become the property of the State and the company will be the exclusive holder of the varieties.

There is also a strong cooperation between the Lisbon Agronomy Institute and some companies, regarding the share of some vegetable varieties from the Institute’s collection.

 

Contact person for more information: Joana Lopes Aleixo anseme@anseme.pt

Germany

EVA project

Back in the mid 1990s, scientists and plant breeders jointly founded the German evaluation program EVA for barley and wheat. The program is designed to evaluate genotypes preserved in gene banks or used in research projects for disease resistance against a set of harmonized criteria.

The project has been coordinated by the Institute for Research in Resistance and Stress Tolerance of the Julius Kühn Institute in Quedlinburg.

The results will be published in a database that will be availablefor the use of scientists, plant breeders and the greater public.

 

Contact person for more information: hans-ulrich.leistner@jki.bund.de

 

German Gene Bank Commission

German breeders participate in the Gene Bank Commission which is an advisory body for issues concerning plant genetic resources (PGR) in Germany. As such, its activities include the following:

- co-operation in the merger of German gene banks

- drafting of opinions on national or regional research funding programs

- opinion-forming on international and national PGR action plans as well as on database programs

- giving opinions on the preservation and use of genotypes in gene banks (e.g. on transition periods after variety reference samples were transferred to the gene bank by the CPVO after expiry of variety protection)

 

Contact person for more information: gfpi@bdp-online.de

 

Grow Africa partnership

No other continent depends on agriculture as much as Africa. More than 60 % of that continent's working population is employed in agriculture. And yet food security is still not guaranteed.

As part of the Grow Africa partnership, a number of actors of the seed industry (Dow, Monsanto, Du Pont-Pioneer, Syngenta, Bayer, Bühler Group, UC Davis) joined other partner organizations and the G8 nations to form the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. The companies involved in this initiative have committed 3 billion dollars of investment in African agriculture. The aim is to strengthen food security and improve farmers' income, while ensuring sustainability.

 

Contact person for more information: Richard Breum richard.breum@bayer.com

Websitewww.growafrica.com

 

 

New Vision for Agriculture

We all want a reliable supply of food and better economic opportunities for ourselves and our families. Without food security and prosperity, there is uncertainty and strife where there should be peace.

The key is agriculture, which drives economic growth and provides a livelihood for more than 2.5 billion people worldwide. To meet the urgent global challenges of the future, many seed companies believe there is a need to bring together everyone with a stake in the food value chain – from seed suppliers to consumers.

As part of that collaboration, seed companies Bayer, BASF, Monsanto and Syngenta are working with the World Economic Forum's New Vision for Agriculture initiative, which aims to achieve sustainable agricultural growth through an innovative partnership model involving public and private stakeholders.

The three main objectives are to deliver food security, promote environmental sustainability and improve economic opportunity.  In short, the aim is to feed our hungry planet.

 

Contact person for more information: Richard Breum richard.breum@bayer.com

Websitewww.weforum.org/global-challenges/projects/new-vision-for-agriculture

 

 

Public-Private-Partnerships

In the past 25 years, various fodder grasses have been successfully evaluated in co-operation with the gene banks (perennial ryegrass, meadow fescue, smooth meadow grass etc.).

These research approaches have been devised as public-private-partnerships in which a set of grass genotypes is sent to be evaluated to several partners (plant breeders and research institutions). The results of the evaluation have been included in the descriptive database. 

 

Contact person for more information: gfpi@bdp-online.de

 

Varieties for Diversity

German plant breeders have, in co-operation with the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection as well as the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food, initiated the “Varieties for Diversity” initiative. This is the first time ever that protected premium plant varieties of German breeders are included in the MLS of the ITPGR.

They are comprehensively described and even descriptions of climatic adaptation have been added to facilitate a targeted selection of suitable plant material. The varieties can be easily accessed by anybody in the world via the German National Inventory of Plant Genetic Resources.

Anybody who wants to access these genetic resources needs to sign the sMTA. Additional agreements may include that the recipient will pay the cost for shipping as well as for the necessary plant health certificates. For the genetic resources themselves no payment is charged.

 

Contact person for more information: ursula.schaefer@bdp-online.de

 

Ethiopia

Fair Planet

Fair Planet is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase food security and provide new economic opportunities for the millions stuck in poverty. Fair Planet is engaged in a unique and long-term technology transfer process: On the one hand, it is facilitating access of smallholder farmers to seed of the highest-quality vegetable varieties suitable for their needs. On the other hand, and at the same time, it is training the farmers to use these seeds with minimal changes to their traditional production practices. Trained farmers will gain the opportunity to grow and sell significant crop yields and will benefit from economic growth. Fair Planet's operation model aims to reach more than 50,000 rural households in 3 countries within 5 years, thus helping over 360,000 people to leave the poverty cycle.

Several seed companies (such as Limagrain Group, Enza Zaden, Syngenta, Bayer) participate in the project via providing access to existing high quality varieties and respective know-how. In return, the companies will benefit from a positive reputation, gain entrance to the African seed-market and help it grow. Eventually, they will gain access to new markets created through Fair Planet's activity.

Fair Planet has recently completed a pilot project in Ethiopia, in which high quality tomato varieties were compared to the local variety. The trials were conducted using agronomic practices that are accessible and affordable to local smallholder farmers. High quality varieties yielded more than 5 times the average national yield. The quality of the crop was better, with bigger fruits and longer shelf life, allowing higher pricing and increasing farmers' income. This project was financially supported by Enza Zaden.

In 2016 Bayer joined Fair Planet to provide access to high-quality vegetable seed varieties and know-how, essential to improve the economic growth of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia.  Nunhems ® tomato, hot pepper and onion seed range will be tested in variety and cultivation trials by selected smallholder farmers who will demonstrate advantages to other farmers in nearby villages and regions. Training provided to the farmers will show how to use these high-quality seeds with minimal changes to their traditional production practices. Trained farmers will have better prospects of growing and selling significant crop yields and will benefit from economic growth.

 

Contact regarding Bayer activities within Fair Planet: Richard Breum richard.breum@bayer.com

Project website: http://www.fairplanetseeds.com/

 

 

German-Ethiopian Seed Co-operation Project

Back in 2012, a co-operation between Germany and Ethiopia has been launched to improve the supply in seeds for local farmers and thereby also yields. The project has been planned for 15 years and is designed to address the following issues: sustainable use of plant genetic resources, practical plant breeding and supply of seeds of locally adapted, high-yielding autochthonous plant varieties for domestic Ethiopian demand. The project involves the education and continued training of Ethiopian plant breeders and farmers as well as the support of regional plant breeding projects.

In a first phase, the aim is to step up the abilities of public breeding organizations to breed high-performing locally adapted plant varieties. Furthermore, farmers will be trained for seed multiplication in order to improve the economic relations with individual farms. The farmers will be qualified for producing certified seed by yearly training courses.

In addition, a close co-operation has been established between the German gene bank, the Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Research (IPK) in Gatersleben and the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute. This project module provides training for the Ethiopian gene bank staff in issues of preservation, characterization and evaluation of plant genetic resources to improve the usability of the plant genetic resources.

The cooperation project is co-financed by the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture as well as all member companies of GFP. In Ethiopia, the co-operation project is supervised by staff of the German Society for International Co-operation (GIZ).

 

Contact for more information:

Mike Bartels

Project Manager Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Hisham Complex (5th floor),

Kazanchis Area

P.O. Box 12631

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Phone: +251 115 516 313

Mobile: +251 911 202 642

Fax: +251 115 506 006

  E-mail: Mike.Bartels@giz.de

 

Netherlands

Financial Support Collections Missions CGN

Dutch breeders have provided financial support to allow CGN to conduct collection missions in different countries after having obtained prior informed consent and having agreed on the terms under which the collected material can be used or passed on to third parties. During those missions the idea is not only to improve the collection of CGN but also to support local gene banks and national authorities in extending their collections.

The materials that are collected will become available through CGN on basis of the conditions of the SMTA; this was agreed with the partners.

 

Contact person for more information: cgn@wur.nl or info@plantum.nl

 

Input in Kind to CGN

Dutch breeders support approximately 10-15 % of the budget of the Dutch gene bank through:

 

- taking care of seed multiplication, on the basis of protocols provided by CGN, from various vegetable species, like lettuce, spinach, allium species, peas, faba bean

- taking care of seed multiplication, on the basis of protocols provided by CGN, of field crops like maize.

- evaluation of (parts of) CGN collections to create more knowledge on the genetic resources in particular with regard to abiotic and biotic stress; this allows users to make more optimal use of the genetic resources.

 

Several breeding companies signed collaboration agreements with the Dutch gene bank CGN to formalize the above described collaboration and the intention to continue the collaboration in the future.

 

Contact person for more information: cgn@wur.nl or info@plantum.nl

 

Partnership for research in biodiversity

Rijk Zwaan, a Dutch vegetable breeding company, and Naturalis Biodiversity Center, a Dutch foundation active as a national museum, academic research institute and cultural heritage institution (http://www.naturalis.nl/en/), have formed a unique partnership to conduct research into biological material. The ultimate goal is to exchange knowledge and collections and make use of each others' networks. 

Policy Advice CGN

For the development of national policies on ABS, Plantum NL, the Dutch association of plant breeders, participates in meetings, workshops, etc.

Plantum NL sits on the advisory board of the Dutch gene bank - Centre for Genetic Resources, The Netherlands (CGN) - advising on the following issues:

- vision and policy of CGN;

- implications of international rules and legislation on policy and exchange of genetic resources from CGN;

- plan and follow-up the activities of CGN - e.g. to maintain, expand and describe ex situ collections, to develop in situ activities in order to develop capacity building projects - and provide input where necessary.

 

Contact person for more information: info@plantum.nl

 

Technical Input CGN

Dutch breeders have so far directly provided 6% of the collection of 24000 accessions of the CGN. 2/3 of these accessions belong to vegetable species and 1/3 to field crops. Breeders continue to provide materials if the available material to be provided strengthens the collection.

Through the "crop working groups" of CGN clear strategies are developed on how to optimize the current collections of CGN and extend the collection with new vegetable crops. Companies may either contribute to the existing collections with new varieties, or assist in developing new collections with old and new material from their own collections. Those new collections will be made available to third parties under the conditions of the SMTA.

 

Contact person for more information: info@plantum.nl or cgn@wur.nl

 

Burkina Faso

Germplasm Donation

In 2014, Monsanto Company donated breeding rights to 4 cotton lines to Institut de L’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA) which is the national research organization operating the national cotton breeding program in Burkina Faso.  The lines were donated to increase the genetic pool of the INERA breeding program.  

 

Contact: Roy Cantrell roy.cantrell@monsanto.com

 

United States

Germplasm Enhancement of Maize

Monsanto has provided long-standing (20 years) support to the USDA Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) program, through in-kind service in the form of approximately 2,000 yield trial plots and some nursery rows each year, and  by providing 1 to 2 elite (proprietary) lines per year for use as breeding parents. Selections from the resulting breeding populations will be made publicly available as “GEM” lines.

In term of contribution of private germplasm to the public sphere, it is also important to note that improved maize lines with expired PVP, while representing only 2% of the available material from the USDA Maize Genebank, accounted for 48% of the seed packets distributed globally in 2013, highlighting how valuable and utilized this improved germplasm has become all around the world.

 

Contact: Roy Cantrell roy.cantrell@monsanto.com

 

In-kind support of genebanks

For crops including cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, maize, melon, pepper, spinach, tomato and watermelon, Monsanto Company has conducted hundreds of seed increases each year for the Centre for Genetic Resources of the Netherlands (CGN), INRA (France) and the United States Department of Agriculture National Plant Germplasm System (USDA). This work, which is done at the request of a gene bank, includes growing, pollinating, collecting phenotypic data, harvesting and shipping.  For many of these crops, support has been consistently provided for over 6 years. 

In support of cotton breeding and germplasm enhancement globally, Monsanto Company provided $8,000 to Cotton Incorporated to support the CottonGen database housed at Washington State University. Financial support has been provided since 2012. In addition, Monsanto Company publicly released approximately 4,000 SSR markers, which will help cotton breeders around the world.

 

Contact: Roy Cantrell roy.cantrell@monsanto.com

 

Pakistan

Hybrid Wheat for Food Security

The project “Hybrid Wheat for Food Security” is an innovative wheat research and breeding project targeting food security in India and Pakistan as well as benefitting the UK wheat growers through the eventual introduction of high yielding wheat hybrids. Partners in India, Pakistan, Australia and UK will work together on establishing wheat hybrid testing in South Asia and UK utilising an innovative, non-GMO, non-chemically based, hybrid system. Experienced scientists in Australia will attempt to improve the hybrid system further using molecular and cytogenetic technologies. KWS, UK’s market leader for wheat, will manage and coordinate the project, with the main aim of improving the food security for millions of people in South Asia. In addition, through application of the technology to breeding programmes in the UK, the hybrid system can be rigorously scrutinised using state-of-the-art field trialling facilities, which will facilitate implementation in breeding programmes in South Asia.

Contact person: Jacob Lage: Jacob.Lage@kws.com

 

 

India

Hybrid Wheat for Food Security

The project “Hybrid Wheat for Food Security” is an innovative wheat research and breeding project targeting food security in India and Pakistan as well as benefitting the UK wheat growers through the eventual introduction of high yielding wheat hybrids. Partners in India, Pakistan, Australia and UK will work together on establishing wheat hybrid testing in South Asia and UK utilising an innovative, non-GMO, non-chemically based, hybrid system. Experienced scientists in Australia will attempt to improve the hybrid system further using molecular and cytogenetic technologies. KWS, UK’s market leader for wheat, will manage and coordinate the project, with the main aim of improving the food security for millions of people in South Asia. In addition, through application of the technology to breeding programmes in the UK, the hybrid system can be rigorously scrutinised using state-of-the-art field trialling facilities, which will facilitate implementation in breeding programmes in South Asia.

Contact person: Jacob Lage: Jacob.Lage@kws.com

 

Improving farmers' income

Across India, Bayer projects help farmers raise productivity to improve their livelihood. To the 90 million small farmers in India, a football field represents a lot of land and they usually do with much less.

Bayer supports cotton farmers in Rajasthan by supplying seed and the expertise for efficient crop protection. As a result, they have doubled their yields which has gone from 9.0 lakh bales in 2007-2008 to 17.0 lakh bales in 2014-2015. At the same time, the introduction of insect-resistant BT cotton has reduced the number of applications of insecticides and this reduced the costs for the farmers. The way forward to consolidate and maintain cotton yield and production are by improving the availability of high quality seed, promoting optimum utilization of available water resources through installation of drip irrigation with improved subsidy package and promoting hybrid seed varieties that give higher lint cotton and new technological adoption through High Density Planting System (HDPS).

In Karnataka, Bayer helps farmers produce better pickling cucumbers. The involvement of a specialized crop team has helped to introduce a high yielding and disease resistant variety recently which has boosted yields by 10-15% and increased farmers’ income by up to 15%.

In two other Indian states, Bayer promotes the use of hybrid rice, which yields at least 20% more than the best inbreds grown in similar conditions. Their superior performance is due largely to their dense root system and vigorous growth, high tillering ability, larger panicles, heavy grains and wide adaptation across many eco-climatic and soil types. This also improves farmers' income.

Contact person for more information: Richard Breum richard.breum@bayer.com

 

Learning for Life Initiative

In India, the Bayer Learning for Life initiative covers everything from reintegrating children into the regular school system to vocational training measures. Together with the Naandi Foundation, Bayer runs daycare centers for preschoolers and offers special assistance to weaker school students to stop them breaking off their education. Bayer also works with local non-governmental organizations and school authorities to offer vocational classes and enhance the appeal of attending school.

At the Bayer-Ramanaidu Vignana Jyothi School of Agriculture in Hyderabad, Bayer trains young people aged above 15 years as farm assistants in half year full day courses. More than 3,400 students have already benefited in some way from the Learning for Life initiative.

 

Contact person for more information: Richard Breum richard.breum@bayer.com

Websitewww.cropscience.bayer.com/en/Commitment/Rural-development.aspx

Additional link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZBm0cjWOgI

 

Maize germplasm evaluation and enhancement

Monsanto Company provides financial support and is involved in maize germplasm evaluation and enhancement programs in India (the International Maize Improvement Consortium – IMIC) and with INTA in Argentina and INRA in France.

Contact: Roy Cantrell roy.cantrell@monsanto.com

 

Shaping model villages

Bayer has contracts with cotton seed producers across several hundred villages in India. They are the initial focus of the Model Village project. Farmers will be offered crop insurance schemes and Bayer will make it easier for them to access the market without the middle men. At the same time, Bayer will improve education and training opportunities for their children and pass on its knowledge of sustainable farming practices to boost productivity; practices such as drip irrigation which will – according to project initiator Dr. Uwe Brekau – ‘achieve a further significant increase in productivity on Bayer contract farms.’

 

Contact person for more information: Richard Breum richard.breum@bayer.com

Websitewww.cropscience.bayer.com/en/Commitment/Rural-development.aspx

 

 

Thailand

Improving South Asia’s potatoes

A new partnership has been formed which aims to develop better potatoes for tropical and subtropical conditions. The International Potato Center (CIP), global seed potato company HZPC and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) will combine their resources to breed potato varieties suitable for South Asia markets.

The organisations will combine their experience and resources to breed and select potato varieties suitable for local markets in South Asia. This public-private partnership is aimed at raising the quality and quantity of food production for a growing world population.

Under the new agreement, CIP and HZPC will focus on research and development. Both organisations will provide support in different areas of expertise. While HZPC will apply its strength in the commercialisation of potato varieties and seed potatoes, CIP will contribute its knowledge in the development of varieties for sustainable production in the tropics.

Both organisations will contribute potato germplasm to the endeavour. The scientists will aim to bring together the best combination of traits from HZPC potatoes for temperate regions and CIP's varieties adapted for tropical lowlands and smallholder farmers. The five year breeding programme will aim to produce improved, market-preferred varieties that will enable smallholder farmers to raise their yields and income.

The partnership is also breaking new ground in connection with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as it is the first such agreement in which partners have committed to contributing a percentage of the income from royalties to the Treaty’s benefit-sharing fund.

Websitehttp://cipotato.org/press_release/experts-link-improve-south-asias-potatoes

Contact: Gerard Backx, CEO, HZPC

 

Argentina

Maize germplasm evaluation and enhancement

Monsanto Company provides financial support and is involved in maize germplasm evaluation and enhancement programs in India (the International Maize Improvement Consortium – IMIC) and with INTA in Argentina and INRA in France.

Contact: Roy Cantrell roy.cantrell@monsanto.com

 

France

Maize germplasm evaluation and enhancement

Monsanto Company provides financial support and is involved in maize germplasm evaluation and enhancement programs in India (the International Maize Improvement Consortium – IMIC) and with INTA in Argentina and INRA in France.

Contact: Roy Cantrell roy.cantrell@monsanto.com

 

National Collection

French breeders contribute to the long-term maintenance of the national collection of artichokes; further on, they participate in the French network of genetic resources regarding carrots, eggplant, tomato, melon, chicory, lettuce, onions and also to the MATREF network managed by GEVES. Through this participation they contribute to the maintenance of the national collections with activities relating to multiplication of material, evaluation, characterization and documentation.

They also take part in several professional associations and collaborate with public research institutes in projects focused on conservation, characterization, sustainable use and distribution of genetic resources.

 

Contact person for more information: contact@geves.fr

 

Private collections

French breeders have been involved in the setting up of a number of private collections covering various crops such as Brassicas, sunflower, tomato, wheat, grasses, maize etc. Based on this work, for example, 1784 accessions of wheat and 533 accessions of maize PGRFA have been notified to the MLS.

French breeders also participate(d) in the collection of material and setting up of the cauliflower collection maintained at INRA, in Ploudaniel.

 

Contact person for more information: contact@ufs-asso.com

 

 

PRO-MAÏS

Founded in 1965, PRO-MAÏS is a nonprofit breeders’ organization that aims at advancing the study and improving maize. 10 breeding companies are members of Pro-maïs.  PRO-MAIS's activity is twofold: (i) maintenance of maize genetic resources; (ii) research projects on maize genetic resources, on evaluation, management and methodology, on creation of new skills and resources for private breeders, etc.

Pro-maïs members in close collaboration with INRA have been active in maize genetic resources network in order to manage the genetic resources on long term perspectives. Based on this work, in 2009, Pro-maïs and INRA have notified a collection of 533 accessions of maize PGRFA to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

 

Contact person for more information: Jean Beigbeder jeanbbd@wanadoo.fr

UFS

Several members of the French seed association (UFS) are participating in the work of the conservation networks for several crops such as maize, rapeseed, sunflower, carrots etc.

Such work includes, among others, sharing expertise, providing advice, defining rules, drafting guidelines.

 

Contact person for more information: contact@ufs-asso.com

 

“Amélioration des Plantes” (Improvement of Plants)

UFS, the French seed association, has started a partnership with the Master “Amélioration des Plantes” (Improvement of Plants) of La Salle Beauvais (technical academy for the education of engineers).

In the framework of this partnership companies, members of UFS, will develop collaboration with the future breeders graduating from this academy.

 

Contact person for more information: Jean-Paul Reynoird jean-paul.reynoird@lasalle-beauvais.fr

 

Sweden

Material in Transition

The MIT (Material in Transition) agreement between the company Lantmännen (formerly SW Seed) and NordGen is a good example of providing PGR to gene banks.

The scope of this agreement is that NordGen will, annually, be given access to a large number (several hundreds) of advanced breeding lines, in several crops, including full data packages and DUS protocols. These MIT-lines will remain the property of the breeding company during the final VCU evaluation and possible Plant Breeders Right protection

During this period NordGen cannot distribute accessions of the lines without the consent of the donor – on the other hand the company cannot withdraw MIT-lines from the NordGen collection. After the final DUS evaluation of the MIT-lines/varieties, the material will be transferred to the category of fully accepted (ACC) material and thereby fully publicly available from NordGen to any third parties.

 

Contacts for more information:

Lantmännen – Bo Gertsson  (bo.gertsson@lantmannen.com)

NordGen – Jette Nydam Hansen (jette.nydam.hansen@nordgen.org)

Swedish Seed Trade Association – Per Henriksson (per.henriksson@svuf.se)

 

Nordic pre-breeding projects

A major initiative on pre-breeding/disease resistance breeding has been initiated in the Nordic countries, with support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. Pre-breeding projects were launched in spring barley, apples (disease resistance pre-breeding) and perennial ryegrass (adaptation to changing climatic conditions).

The projects are financed according to a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement with 50% public funding and 50% funding from participating companies. The companies financing part can be (partly) in kind contribution. The R&D work of the projects will be executed at Nordic Agricultural Universities as well as at the R&D/Breeding Departments of participating companies. The total budget for these PPP-projects is approx. € 1.1 million, split 50/50% public/private.

Pre-breeding lines generated in this project will be shared between the participating companies as well as being handed over to the Nordic Gene Bank (NordGen) collection and thereby accessible to the rest of the global breeding community.

The launch year of this PPP initiative was 2011 – to end in 2013 but due to good progress the project has been extended to continue also during2014. A new launch of Nordic PPP-initiatives is foreseen in autumn 2014.

 

Contact person for more information: Swedish Seed Trade Association – Per Henriksson (per.henriksson@svuf.se)

Websitewww.nordgen.org/index.php/en/content/view/full/3172

Hungary

Plant Gene Bank Council

Representatives of Hungarian breeders are members of crop specific Committees (field plants, vegetables, fruit plants, grapes, forest trees, medicinal and aromatic plants, ornamental plants and microorganisms) of the Plant Gene Bank Council (PGBC). PGBC is an advisory body operating under the Ministry of Rural Development. PGBC had to be established to fulfil the following tasks:


- standardization of methods used in gene banks,
- identification of the genetic resources to be conserved,
- decision on special scientific issues concerning the collections,
- opinion-forming on laws, research funding programmes, national action plans concerning plant genetic resources

 

Contact person for more information: Gábor Polgár (Hungarian Seed Association) gabor.polgar@vszt.hu

 

Denmark

PPP for pre-breeding in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

In order to get a good screening of genetic variation in Lolium perenne, a substantial number of accessions will be collected from EURISCO (European gene banks), GRIN (North America) and NIAS (Japan).

The aim in this project is to acquire a total of 400 accessions. These accessions will be used in seed multiplication, phenotyping, broad breeding population and genetic diversity analysis.

The aim is to get seed of up to 20 commercial cultivars with very good winter hardiness.

 

Project partners: DLF, Lantmännen, Graminor, Agricultural University of Iceland, Jõgeva Plant Breeding Institute, Boreal, UMB and University of Aarhus.

 

Contact person for more information: Odd Arne Rognli (Norwegian University of Life Sciences) odd-arne.rognli@nmbu.no

 

RUSTFIGHT: Meeting the New Challenges from Infectious Rust Fungi on Crop Plants

Aggressive Danish P. striiformis isolates are used to screen for novel resistance-genes in wheat genetic material from the international institutions ICARDA and CIMMYT.

Resistant and generally susceptible lines have been crossed. Resistance genes in yellow rust resistance-phenotyped doublehapoids are mapped based on existing wheat maps using SNP and SSR markers.

New identified molecular markers which are linked to rust resistance genes are valuable in marker-assisted selection in the wheat breeding, allowing for example to combine several resistance genes by gene pyramiding.

The wheat material containing new resistance to yellow rust will be of great importance not only for the European wheat growers but also for a number of other wheat growing countries worldwide. Grown varieties are stored in NordGen.

 

Project partners: Sejet Plant Breeding, Aarhus University, Copenhagen University

 

Contact person for more information: Mogens Houmøller (Aarhus University) Mogens.Hovmoller@agrsci.dk

 

Kenya

Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA)

Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) is a public-private partnership to develop drought-tolerant and insect protected maize that will be available royalty-free to smallholder farmers in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda through local seed companies. Monsanto Company has contributed germplasm and intends to eventually donate biotechnology derived proprietary traits to this project.

Monsanto Company also contributes in-kind support in the form of molecular breeding and some technical expertise with the goal of getting improved maize germplasm into the hands of farmers in WEMA countries.  

 

Contact: Roy Cantrell roy.cantrell@monsanto.com

 

Mozambique

Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA)

Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) is a public-private partnership to develop drought-tolerant and insect protected maize that will be available royalty-free to smallholder farmers in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda through local seed companies. Monsanto Company has contributed germplasm and intends to eventually donate biotechnology derived proprietary traits to this project.

Monsanto Company also contributes in-kind support in the form of molecular breeding and some technical expertise with the goal of getting improved maize germplasm into the hands of farmers in WEMA countries.  

 

Contact: Roy Cantrell roy.cantrell@monsanto.com

 

South Africa

Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA)

Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) is a public-private partnership to develop drought-tolerant and insect protected maize that will be available royalty-free to smallholder farmers in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda through local seed companies. Monsanto Company has contributed germplasm and intends to eventually donate biotechnology derived proprietary traits to this project.

Monsanto Company also contributes in-kind support in the form of molecular breeding and some technical expertise with the goal of getting improved maize germplasm into the hands of farmers in WEMA countries.  

 

Contact: Roy Cantrell roy.cantrell@monsanto.com

 

Uganda

Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA)

Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) is a public-private partnership to develop drought-tolerant and insect protected maize that will be available royalty-free to smallholder farmers in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda through local seed companies. Monsanto Company has contributed germplasm and intends to eventually donate biotechnology derived proprietary traits to this project.

Monsanto Company also contributes in-kind support in the form of molecular breeding and some technical expertise with the goal of getting improved maize germplasm into the hands of farmers in WEMA countries.  

 

Contact: Roy Cantrell roy.cantrell@monsanto.com

 

Indonesia

Yayasan Bina Tani Sejahtera Foundation

At the basis of this project is Indonesia’s largest vegetable seed company PT East West Seed Indonesia. The founders of this joint venture, Enza Zaden’s Pier Mazereeuw and Simot Groot of East West Seed, are also the founding fathers of the Yayasan Bina Tani Sejahtera Foundation, which they established in 2009.However, the daily affairs of the Foundation are handled by the team of PT East West Seed Indonesia. The aim of the Foundation is to give vegetable growers all the help they need. The Foundation helps growers grow their vegetables, especially in the remote parts of the lowlands with their difficult conditions. By sharing the expertise and technology the living standards of many farming families are improved and their capacity and production will increase. Know-how is constantly made available by the Foundation to millions of vegetable growers in the country and it is visible that the better technology and high-quality resources like seed help farmers increase their income.

Examples of success stories include: digging of wells and installing of pipelines to make more water available for irrigation and consumption; planting trees to make environments greener; printing manuals on vegetable cultivation and making those available to farmers.  

 

Contact: info@binatani.or.id

 

 

Providing advice on conservation and sustainable use of PGRs:

It is very common that private breeders participate in the work of national advisory committees on issues concerning plant genetic resources (PGR). In this way they can directly share their expertise and provide their input to responsible authorities in important policy decisions related to PGR. 

 

Direct involvement in the management of collections:

It goes without saying that breeders in many countries contribute significantly to the tasks related to the day-to-day management of national collections by providing their services directly to genebanks without any compensation in counterpart. These activities may include several elements such as helping in setting up of collections; evaluation, characterization, documentation of PGR; maintenance of collections etc.

 

Providing plant genetic resources to the MLS:

In many cases breeders also support gene banks by directly providing them with accessions of plant genetic resources which are then included in the Multilateral System of the International Treaty and are available under the conditions of the sMTA.

 

Direct financial support:

In certain cases private breeders also provide direct financial support to certain activities or projects of national genebanks, conservation programs or other projects.

 

Dissemination of information (Awareness raising):

Private breeders may also contribute to conservation activities via dissemination of information and raising awareness on the importance of conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources within their own communities. Such activities are undertaken on a regular basis by most national breeders associations.

 

Involvement in international cooperation:

On some occasions private breeders are not only involved in the national conservation program, but they are also directly engaged in international cooperation programs aimed in most cases at developing countries.

 

Sustainable use of PGR (and facilitated access):

The continuous creation of new varieties with new combinations of genes that are more resistant to diseases and pests, that are adapted to special needs of producers and consumers, that are adapted to the climate and that produce more is an important contribution to diversity and a basis for further crop improvement. Through the internationally accepted principle of free access for further breeding (also known as the breeders’ exemption), varieties on the market are directly freely available to anybody who would like to do further breeding. This stimulates innovation and allows all breeders, be it from big or small companies, farmers, developed or developing countries, to continue development.

 

Dissemination of technology (technology transfer) – examples of public-private partnerships:

In the context of non-monetary benefit-sharing a lot of emphasis is put by Contracting Parties on the importance of private-public partnerships and pre-breeding as well as the availability of such pre-developed material under the Multilateral System of the International Treaty. Pre-breeding work and making such improved breeding material available for the breeding community is part of collaborative efforts related to technology transfer and capacity building. Private companies in many countries actively participate in such projects by contributing their expertise, facilities and also in many cases part of the budget of the project.

 

Capacity building:

Access to material is very important for all actors to be able to conserve and sustainably use genetic resources. However, in developing countries particularly it is also key that the tools and capacity (knowledge) to use such material are shared as well. Breeders in many European countries actively participate in activities of capacity building in various developing countries.