Genetic Resource Unit Progress Report 1998-2003
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International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). (1/1/1998). Genetic Resource Unit Progress Report 1998-2003. Aleppo, Syrian Arab Republic: International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).
The Genetic Resources Unit (GRU) of ICARDA produced its last Annual Report, for the years 1996 and 1997. in 1999. Since then. due to several reasons, no reports were produced although members of staff prepared individual reports of their collecting missions, conservation and gene bank management, plant genetic resources (PGR) research, and training activities. This report, which includes the growing seasons 1997/1998, 1998/1999, 1999/2000. 2000/2001, 2001/2002 and 2002/2003. substitutes the Annual Reports for the years 1998 to 2003. In recent years there have been many new developments at the GRU. For instance. Four special projects became operational with their coordination being provided by GRU. These projects were supported by the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). the Australian Grain Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Program (UNDP). These projects are still ongoing at the time of writing this report. In 2003, the flooring of GRU's Nazareno Strampelli building, which was generously donated by Italy in 1989, was refurbished and work began on the construction of completely new cold storerooms to house the ever-expanding genetic resources collections as well as to fulfill the international requirements of storage. The latter has been mandated by the agreement between ICARDA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under whose auspices GRU is holding the designated seed samples for the greater good of humankind. The World Bank upgrading program for IARC's gene banks provided funding for upgrading the old cold store, and construction of new medium-term and long-term storage facilities at ICARDA's gene bank. The international centers of the CGlAR system are required to develop Medium Term Plans (MTPs) to cover three-year periods. These MTPs, however. are updated annually and are organized around various projects. This six-year report pertains to the MTP project - 3.3 Agrobiodiversity Collection and Conservation for Sustainable Utilization - that is based at the ICARDA's GRU. The reporting requirements of the MTPs are brief. tabulated. and insufficient for distribution to the national programs and other stakeholders that ICARDA serves in its mandated regions. Hence, in 2004, GRU decided to produce a six-year report to compile all its gene bank activities, genetic resources collection, conservation, and related research, seed health testing and training, and other assistance to the national programs. We hope that this six-year consolidated progress report will be of use to our collaborators in the NARS, cooperators, as well as to concerned scientists in the advanced institutions around the world with whom we work.
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