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Norway seed bank

The entrance to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault at sunrise Keystone

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This content was published on February 27, 2008 - 16:41

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Key facts

The Svalbard International Seed Vault, based on the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, will be able to store up to 4.5 million seed samples including:
100,000-140,000 different kinds of rice.
200,000 varieties of wheat;
80,000 varieties of maize;
14,000 varieties of vegetables;
4,000 varieties of apples;
and 3,000 varieties of potatoes.

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Swiss seed bank

The different varieties of seeds cultivated in Switzerland are conserved at the national seed bank at the Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil plant science research station in Changins, near Nyon in canton Vaud.

This collection has existed since 1900 and comprises some 10,000 different kinds of cereal, fruit and vegetable seeds. The national collection is complemented by others created by private individuals.

The aim of the national collection is twofold: to conserve local varieties that are neglected by farmers and to build up a reserve that could be used if needed.

The length of time seeds are conserved depends on their individual characteristics and varies from 50 years for wheat to 15 years for beans, peas and soya.

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