Tom Payne, head of the CIMMYT wheat collection in the Wellhausen-Anderson Genetic Resources Center will be heard on the stations of National Public Radio in the United States later this month. He was interviewed this week for a story about the launching of a new genebank project in Norway. The interview was conducted over the telephone by NPR journalist Dan Charles from a studio in Washington DC. NPR sent their Mexico City journalist, Karina Pais to record Tom’s answers to the questions.
Norway announced that it will dig a large cave deep inside a frozen mountain on the arctic island of Svalbard with the capacity to hold copies of all the world’s crop seed varieties. Norway says the arctic cold will provide a failsafe backup for the world’s major genebanks, like the one at CIMMYT, which depend on electricity to keep their refrigeration equipment running. The Norwegian project is expected to be ready in 2007.