Putting Something Away for a Rainy Day: New Seed and Gene Banks in Turkey

The Anatolian Grey (or Boz Irk) cattle breed, found in Turkey's Thrace, South Marmara, and North Aegean regions, is one of the species that will be preserved in the country's new gene bank. These animals are valued for their ability to survive sudden changes in food and climate. Photo: TÜRKHAYGEN-I

Some people believe that Noah's Ark came to rest on eastern Turkey's Mt. Ararat. Today, the threat of a global catastrophe to rival the Biblical flood is prompting Turkish government officials to play Noah themselves, gathering up representatives of important species to be used to repopulate the country should worse come to worse.
The Agriculture and Rural Affairs Ministry is taking a slightly more high-tech approach than marching animals onto a wooden boat two by two, setting up banks for plant seeds and animal genes in response to concern about how droughts and other effects of global warming will affect agriculture and livestock.

Turkey's first new seed bank, reportedly dubbed "Noah's Bin," will be set up in the capital city of Ankara this year and will be the fourth largest in the world. It will be followed by a gene bank representing wild and domesticated animals that are either unique to Turkey--such as the famed Ankara and Van cats and Kangal dogs from Sivas--endangered, or important farm animals. The ministry is also developing drought-resistant types of wheat and other fruit and vegetable species. Via: "Agriculture Ministry to set up seed, animal gene bank," Today's Zaman
More on saving seeds and genes:
The World's Largest Seed Bank: Next Bank to Fail?
Global Crop Diversity Trust: the Search for 'Climate-Proof' Food
More Than Pretty Heirloom Tomatoes: Saving Seeds Critical to Combatting Climate Change
Native Seeds Fight Food Shortage and Global Warming
African Seed Bank Deposits Arrive In Norway
Quote of the Day: Jonathan Porritt on Saving Our Seeds
First Frogs, Now Our Wheat?
Seed Sense: I See Vanished Vegetables
Norway to Build Doomsday Seed Vault
Norway Seed Bank: A Hedge Against Food Loss

Tags: Agriculture | Animals | Biodiversity | Farming | Global Warming Effects | Turkey


treehugger slideshows