The Seed Vault and its mission trigger idealists and plant enthusiasts all over the world. We often receive offers for seed donations and voluntary seed collecting for the Seed Vault. The Seed Vault is, however, a facility for storing copies of seeds conserved long term in gene bank collections only. However, we strongly recommend that individuals, associations and other enthusiasts offer their valuable seeds and their capacities to gene banks, which in turn could be partners to the Global Seed Vault.
Quispe Pacco and Pacco Chipa from Parque de la Papa in Peru brought precious potato seeds into the Seed Vault in August 2015. Parque de la Papa is a farmers cooperative association that develop and improve farmers potato varieties for Andean highlands, runs an NGO gene bank collection and has deposited 750 seed samples in the Seed Vault.
The rich genetic diversity of crops present in agriculture and in gene bank collections is to the credit of farmers, hobby growers and plant enthusiasts that have taken care of and multiplied seeds of cultivated plants all over the world. This fact is acknowledged e.g. in the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
Moreover, despite that seed collections all over the world conserve millions of plant genotypes, scientists and gene bank managers are well aware that a lot of unique and valuable plant material is still not conserved in gene banks. Such valuable plants could be crop land races still in use among farmers, it could be plant varieties in use among amateurs and hobby growers and it could be wild plant species related to crops and therefore valuable for future plant breeding.
So, if you have seed material that is not already conserved in gene banks, we recommend to get in touch with a gene bank collection near you and offer seeds and cooperation. This could be an international CGIAR centre having a research unit in your country, it could be a national gene bank or research institute or it could be a non-governmental organisation like Seed Savers or others that manage long term seed collections.
When the seeds are conserved in such a primary seed collection, the gene bank or institute is offered space for security copies in the Seed Vault. In this way, your valuable seeds can, in the end, be a part of the global back-up seed collection in Svalbard.
Good luck and thanks for your commitment and contribution!