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"Gene Save": Cross-border preservation of gene resources

lokale Maissorte

A local corn variety that should be preserved © LPA Bozen

The new Interreg Project "Gene Save" is to preserve and maintain old local grain, vegetable and apple varieties in southern and northern Tyrol. Seed and planting stock is to be collected, preserved in a gene bank and then re-introduced into cultivation on a wider scale.
Indeed, over the past few decades there has been a sharp decrease in arable crop production at higher altitudes, with "highly-bred" varieties from abroad introduced instead. Established local varieties, which are particularly well adapted to local conditions and elevations, are to be preserved to counter this trend. The local population is being asked to provide information on or make available old planting and seed stock or to indicate the locations of old apple trees. Experts can then examine the samplings, collect the seed stock and conduct scientific experiments including germination tests. The Laimburg Experimental Station in southern Tyrol/I, the Tyrol Chamber of Agriculture/A and other project partners are all co-operating in the venture.
Source and information: South Tyrol Press Office 15.07.2003, www.provinz.bz.it/LPA/news/news_d (de)