Gates to contribute to doomsday seed vault

A Gates Foundation grant will help developing countries send the seeds of “critical” food crops to a doomsday seed vault in an Arctic deep freeze.

“The fight against hunger cannot be won without securing fast-disappearing crop biodiversity,” the Global Crop Diversity Trust and its partner the UN Foundation said in announcing the grant of 30 million dollars (22 million euros).

Part of the grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to which the Norwegian government added 7.5 million dollars in matching funds, will go towards helping poor countries send seeds to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a statement said.

The so-called “Noah’s Ark of food” near the North Pole will store at least 450,000 seed samples at a temperature of minus 18 degrees Celsius (minus 0.4 Fahrenheit).

The funding is “the largest crop biodiversity preservation grant ever made,” the communique said.

Source:  AFP news article

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