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Podcast Season 4 Episode 6: The Crop Trust: securing global plant genetic resources

The Crop Trust: securing global plant genetic resources


In this episode Stefan Schmitz, Executive Director of the Crop Trust, gives comprehensive insights on the background, history and purpose of the Crop Trust. Learn how conserving seeds works and how it is ensured that the seeds are safe and secure. What is the difference between seed banks in general and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault? Why is the Global Seed Vault located in Svalbard and what is so extraordinary about it?

Stefan Schmitz joined the Crop Trust as Executive Director in January 2020. He previously worked as Deputy Director-General and Commissioner for the “One World – No Hunger” Initiative at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). He also chaired the Steering Committee of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). For more than 10 years, Stefan was leading the food security, agriculture and rural development work at BMZ. From 2007 until 2009 he worked as senior advisor to the Secretariat of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris. Before joining the BMZ in 2001, Stefan held various posts in the German federal administration in the fields of geographical information systems, regional planning and international cooperation on urban issues. He received scholarships of the McCloy Fellowship of the American Council on Germany and of the German Academic Exchange Service. After studying in Bonn and St. Andrews, he graduated from Bonn University in geography and mathematics and received a doctorate in geosciences from the Free University of Berlin in 2000.

More information about the Crop Trust:

2 Photographs by Stefan Schmitz

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