Preserving the genetic diversity of coffee is essential to securing the future of a globally important crop. Yet the current system for preserving coffee's genetic resources in ex situ collections is not sustainable, secure or rational. Based on a series of surveys and site visits, World Coffee Research together with The Global Crop Diversity Trust, have created an exhaustive report about the state of coffee genetic resource preservation, and a strategy for how to transform the current system into one that can viable safeguard the future of coffee.
The current system is broken
- Unfortunately, the current system for securing coffee genetic resources is not a system at all. The current situation is of a set of nationally focused collections that are isolated from each other and from external users.
- The current “system” is not sustainable, secure, cost effective, or rational. Many plants are not duplicated or are in suboptimal locations, national genebanks lack securing funding, and there is not a global system for sharing data about the plants that have been protected so that breeders can utilize them.
A rational, sustainable global system is possible
In the Coffee Conservation Strategy, six high priority actions are identified to facilitate the transition from the current ‘system’ to a global conservation system that can ensure the sustainability of coffee production now and in the future.
- Secure stable funding for long-term conservation of the origin plus CATIE collections through the Crop Trust Endowment Fund
- Upgrade facilities and capacity of origin and user collections
- Use of an ABS that will facilitate germplasm exchange and use
- Establish the global platform for collaboration in coffee genetic resources conservation and use
- Ensure the safety duplication of all conserved accessions
- Greater complementarity of ex situ and in situ conservation of coffee genetic resources.
Authors: Paula Bramel, Sarada Krishnan, Daniela Horna, Brian Lainoff, Christophe Montagnon