• Access to plant genetic resources used in crop improvement is essential for achieving
food and nutrition security.
• All countries utilize crops whose genetic diversity originates outside their borders and
therefore benefi t from international collaboration to access plant genetic resources.
• Countries are highly interdependent in regard to these resources, as 68.7% of their diets and
69.3% of their national agricultural production systems depend on crops whose genetic
diversity originates largely outside their borders, on average across countries worldwide.
• Countries’ dependence on crops that originated in other regions has increased over the past
50 years in concert with economic and agricultural development and the globalization of
food systems. Increased utilization of these “foreign” crops is correlated with greater dietary
diversity and higher GDP.
• Global interdependence in plant genetic resources provides a strong rationale for proactively
conserving and facilitating access to this diversity worldwide. We recommend more
comprehensive participation of countries in the Multilateral System of Access and Benefi t
Sharing of the ITPGRFA, and for widening international cooperation and a multilateral
approach to the exchange of plant genetic diversity in order to consider all crops of present
and future international importance.