INCREASE – Intelligent Collections of Food Legumes Genetic Resources for European Agrofood Systems

INCREASE at the Global Crop Diversity Summit 2023

On 14th of November 2023 scientists, agricultural and food experts, policymakers and multilateral organisations gathered in Berlin for the Global Crop Diversity Summit to address the urgent need for more sustainable, resilient, and healthy agrifood systems in the face of major global challenges, including the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, food insecurity, malnutrition, and international conflict. The summit also seeks to raise political awareness of the essential role that crop diversity plays in securing global food systems and to strengthen cooperation among seed banks around the world. Sharing these goals, the INCREASE project was represented at the summit by Prof. Roberto Papa of the Polytechnic University of Marche in Italy and Dr Kerstin Neumann of IPK in Germany.

The international experts expressed an urgent call for action for greater global cooperation to safeguard seeds for future food and nutrition security. Stefan Schmitz, Executive Director of the Crop Trust, said: “We have entered uncharted territory as we face an interconnected crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and food insecurity, which is compounded by growing geopolitical tensions. Crop diversity provides vital life insurance, and we’re calling for efforts to safeguard this diversity to be placed high on the political agenda. Only through greater international cooperation and increased funding can we solve this crisis”.

The INCREASE consortium is a powerful supporter in this quest: By developing efficient and effective conservation tools and methods and by implementing a new approach to conserve, manage and characterise genetic resources through participatory research, INCREASE contributes to fostering agricultural biodiversity in Europe and beyond. As part of the project, the INCREASE Citizen Science Experiment invites European citizens to actively conserve and characterise diverse bean varieties. More than 13,000 citizens from across Europe have so far participated in the experiment and the INCREASE team is looking forward to welcoming new citizens on board for the growing season 2024.

In the spirit of the Global Crop Diversity Summit, we therefore invite you to join us and to make your own contribution - give agrobiodiversity a chance!

Read more:

  • A press release of the Global Crop Diversity Summit 2023 is available here.
  • The key issues and actions discussed at the Global Crop Diversity Summit 2023 are summarised in this Communique.
  • Find more information about the INCREASE Citizen Science Experiment here.

Kent Nnadozie, Secretary of the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture & Stefan Schmitz, Executive Director of the Crop Trust

Cem Özdemir, The Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture of Germany

Meeting venue: the French Cathedral, Berlin

Kerstin Neumann, Roberto Papa (both INCREASE) & Lise Lykke Steffensen, Chief Executive of NordGen

Roberto Papa, Kerstin Neumann (both INCREASE) & Benjamin Kilian, Crop Trust (INCREASE Advisory Board member)

Kerstin Neumann, Roberto Papa (both INCREASE) & Susan McCouch, Cornell University (INCREASE Advisory Board member)