Syria, ICARDA to restore Gene bank in Aleppo countryside

Aleppo, Ministry of Agriculture, in cooperation with International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), are intensifying efforts to restore one of the most important Gene banks in the world which was including samples of major plants collected from all over the world.

Representative of ICARDA in Syria, Dr. Majd Jamal, said that the bank was sabotaged and stolen, especially laboratories and equipment, by armed terrorist groups.

He added that the number of samples that were stored in two storage units, one for long term at a temperature of minus 20 degrees, and the other for short term at a temperature of 4 degrees Celsius, is estimated at more than 130 thousand samples collected in cooperation with national programs from all over the world, of which about 9000 groups in cooperation with the Syrian national program, as they are considered an invaluable global scientific resource.

Jamal noted that efforts are being exerted to restore the bank through a grant by the Syrian government in light of its local and international scientific importance.

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture, Muhammad Hassan Qatana, inspected the center and was briefed by the steps taken to restore the Genetic Bank and field research experiments for the promising samples including wheat, barley, lentil and chick-pea.

Source: Syrian Arab News Agency