Conservation of Genetic Diversity
Genetic resources are mankind's most valuable heritage and are indispensable for sustaining life on earth. With the aim of establishing a platform for conservation of genetic resources related to food and agriculture, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) initiated the Genebank Project in 1983 to facilitate the collection, preservation, characterization and distribution of genetic resources, and to contribute to the global efforts of conserving the world's precious and irreplaceable resources.
Why conserve genetic resources?
The genetic resources have been useful in the breeding of various crop cultivars with charcteristics that satisfy the needs of consumers such as good taste, and improvement of productivity such as pest resistance etc. However, in order to create novel crops to counteract the consequences of a changing environment, it is necessary to utilize a substantial diversity that can be obtained only from older varieties or closely relared wild species.