Seed banks exist all over the world. However, some very significant ones have been subject to political strife and subsequent destruction. Think Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Norwegian government opened the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to protect the genetic diversity of the planet. The mass production of food has threatened this diversity - a diversity that may be critical under differing environmental conditions. 860,000 seeds and counting. A smart and inexpensive hedge against our past and present mistakes.
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