New Zealand seeds safely in Norwegian doomsday vault

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If there's ever a doomsday, New Zealand's most precious seeds are officially safe.

Kioumars Ghamkhar placing New Zealand seeds inside the vault.

Kioumars Ghamkhar placing New Zealand seeds inside the vault.

Source: Supplied

Agresearch representative Kioumars Ghamkhar has returned home feeling satisfied, after successfully depositing 800 seeds from our collection in the Global Seed Vault.

"It's great when you plan something and it turns out better than what you planned," he said.

Designed to preserve the world's plants in case anything goes wrong, the vault is based in Svalbard, a remote island north of Norway.

It's the perfect location, 1300 kilometres from the North Pole, where the average daytime high temperature is below freezing for all but four months of the year.

Already holding 865,000 seeds, Agresearch have carefully selected our contribution, choosing rye grass and white clover, along with their wild varieties.

"Together they contribute $19 billion to our economy," said Mr Ghamkhar.

The trip wasn't just about the deposit, but about building relationships, something Mr Ghamkhar is excited about as he looks to the future.

"If we don't get out and introduce ourselves, then no one will know about us.

"This has really opened the door for our country," he said.

Mr Ghamkhar says he hopes to deposit up to 10,000 seeds in the next few years and find opportunities to collaborate internationally too.

A representative from the Seed Vault funder, the Crop Trust, is set to visit New Zealand in October.

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