Coffee Genetic Resources
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.
The global coffee crop is increasingly threatened by climate change and diseases and pests. To safeguard coffee for the future, its imperative to protect the world's coffee genetic resources, which are being lost at a rapid pace. Most of the main genebanks that hold the world's collection of genetic resources and preserve them for the future are in disrepair and its natural habitat is rapidly disappearing, leading to genetic erosion. Before it is too late, we need to address the preservation of these genetic resources through multi-national collaboration.
World Coffee Research works with many partners around the world to assess the challenges that coffee and its genetic resources face, including an assessment of the significant gaps in collections and their links to in situ conservation, and to mobilize funding in support of protecting coffee, forever.
The cost of failing to act to preserve coffee’s genetic resources could be catastrophic for the entire coffee industry. Any one coffee tree in a threatened germplasm collection could contain a trait that could protect against devastating droughts or as-yet-unknown pests or diseases. The same tree could have a trait with as-of-yet undiscovered quality or health-promoting traits. Protecting coffee genetic resources is critical not only for avoiding catastrophe, but also for creating new opportunities for farmers and coffee lovers.