11 October 2022

The National Seed Bank Was Established in the TRNC with TİKA’s Support

The National Seed Bank was established in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with the support of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) in order to store heirloom seeds.

The Project for the Establishment of the National Seed Bank was implemented with Taşkent Nature Park and Cyprus Wildlife Research Institute, two non-profit organizations, with the great support of Cittaslow municipalities in the TRNC and the scientific contribution of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the TRNC and the universities in the TRNC.

The project aims to protect and promote endemic plant species and subspecies of Cyprus and distribute their seeds to as many people as possible. The seeds of fruits and vegetables that have been grown on the island for centuries, as well as aromatic plants and ornamental plants with cultural and economic significance, will be stored and bred at the laboratory, built with special technical devices provided by TİKA.

Ali Murat Başçeri, the Republic of Türkiye’s Ambassador to Nicosia; Havva Pınar Özcan Küçükçavuş, TİKA’s Program Coordinator in Nicosia; Emirali Deveci, Undersecretary of the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the TRNC; Emir Akyıllar, Director of the Environmental Protection Department of the TRNC; Cemil Sarıçizmeli, Mayor of Galáteia; Hasan Öztaş, Mayor of Lefkoniko; Prof. Özge Özden, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at Near East University; Münevver Ebedi, Technical Coordinator for the TRNC at Cittaslow; Turgut Değirmencioğlu, Coordinator for Galáteia at Cittaslow; the delegation of the Turkish National Seed Gene Bank, affiliated with the Aegean Agricultural Research Institute; and relevant stakeholders visited the laboratory built as part of the project and received information from Kemal Basat, Director of Taşkent Nature Park, and biologist Tuğberk Emirzade.

The first protocol was concluded with the Turkish National Seed Gene Bank in order to establish international cooperation for seed-based scientific research.

The National Seed Bank Project aims to develop strategies for the protection of local seeds, which cannot compete with biotechnology companies, for future generations.

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