Seed bank aims to protect world’s agricultural inheritance from Syria war

‘Humanity is in our Hands’ says so very much. Something a person from an agricultural country Ireland never would have thought about this sanctuary for seeds.

Adonis Diaries

Seed bank aims to protect world’s agricultural inheritance from Syria war

Lebanon project aims to recreate Aleppo collection of 150,000 seeds representing knowledge of generations of farmers in Middle East

Kareem Shaheen in Baalbek. February 24, 2016

The wild wheat seed had travelled from Aleppo to the Arctic circle in northern Norway. It has now come almost full circle to Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, where an effort is under way to save the world’s agricultural inheritance from the ravages of the Syrian civil war.

Mariana Yazbek, who runs the gene bank at the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (Icarda), held up the specimen. “Think how much potential is in this seed,” she said. “Humanity is in our hands.”

The return journey from the Arctic to the Middle East was not one the seed had been expected to make.

The Svalbard global seed vault, buried in a…

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