ESWATINI – WorldVeg has announced the official commissioning of the new Vegetable Genebank to the Ministry of Agriculture in Eswatini.

Funded by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of China (Taiwan) through the TAVI (Taiwan Africa Vegetable Initiative) project, this state-of-the-art facility stands as a beacon of hope in the face of climate change-induced challenges.

Dr. Shakuntala Thilsted, WorldVeg’s Research Program Leader for Value Chains and Nutrition, underscores the importance of this initiative, stating, “The Genebank will serve as a crucial repository for preserving the genetic diversity of vegetable crops in our region, ensuring resilience and adaptability in the face of evolving environmental conditions.”

Meanwhile, on another front, WorldVeg celebrated another milestone with the successful inauguration of Africa’s first Vegetable Genebank in Arusha, Tanzania.

This achievement, years in the making, signifies a profound commitment to conserving and promoting vegetable biodiversity across the continent.

Dr. Gabriel Rugalema, Associate Director General of the World Vegetable Center, Africa, expresses gratitude for the support received, stating, “The inauguration of Africa’s Vegetable Genebank is a testament to our long-term vision and dedication to preserving our agricultural heritage.”

During the inauguration ceremony, Mr. Gerald Mweli, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture of the United Republic of Tanzania, reaffirmed his commitment to supporting the conservation of African traditional vegetable biodiversity.

He acknowledged the importance of granting additional land for the expansion of the World Vegetable Center’s activities, further emphasizing the critical role of institutions like WorldVeg in advancing agricultural sustainability.

The ceremony was graced by distinguished guests, including Hon. Emmanuela Kaganda, District Commissioner for Arumeru, representing the Regional Commissioner for Arusha, and Ambassadors Wiebe de Boer of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Tanzania, and Allen Chenhwa Lou, Representative of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Ambassadors de Boer and Lou commended WorldVeg for its dedication to research and development in the realm of vegetable agriculture, emphasizing its contribution to promoting healthier lives through improved vegetable varieties.

The commissioning of the Vegetable Genebank in Eswatini and the inauguration of Africa’s Vegetable Genebank in Arusha mark significant strides in the realm of agricultural innovation and sustainability.

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