The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is slowly being filled by agricultural and ecological scientists and seed collectors from around the world. This month the USDA and the ARS have sent their third shipment of seeds to the vault to be stored for future use.
This shipment of 10,522 samples included a variety of major food crops including both cultivated and wild soybeans, semi dwarf wheat and rice. It also included a rare wild strawberry plant.
The seed vault currently houses around 500,000 seeds from around the world which is around 10% of its total capacity. The ARS itself has 511,000 seeds, the majority of which will eventually be held at the facility in norway. This gene-bank is one of around 1400 around the world that are working to preserve the genetic of wild, rare and agriculturally important species.
The vault has come about its funding and support from a diverse group of backers from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Syngenta Foundation and the Government of Norway.