• 20-MAR-2015

  • SOURCE: Food Culture Net

German Government honors Mahmoud Solh, Director of ICARDA's genebank, for rescuing these genetic resources from Syrian Civil War - NEW VIDEO AVAILABLE

Interview with Dr. Mahmoud Solh

The gene bank of the Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) stores one of the world's biggest collections of barley, faba bean and lentil crops, along with ancient varieties of durum and bread wheat. This collection is a uniquely rich resource for agricultural scientists and plant breeders seeking genetic material suitable for national and international breeding programmes, especially for developing drought tolerant and disease and pest resistant varieties which can be cultivated even under changing climate conditions.

ICARDA's gene bank team in Syria continued monitoring the gene bank storage conditions despite the difficult situation of civil war, and safeguarded the resources by sending duplicates of the genetic material to other gene banks, e.g. in Spitzbergen. Preservation of this global heritage is crucial to the international community and commands its highest respect.

The Gregor Mendel Foundation will award the Gregor Mendel Innovation Prize 2015 to Mahmoud Solh, PhD, Director General of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), representing his team, for rescuing these genetic resources.