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A Noah's Ark for Earth's Seeds

Cary Fowler is the executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, based in Rome.
Dan Charles, NPR
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Cary Fowler is the executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, based in Rome.

Norway has launched a unique construction project on the remote Norwegian island of Svalbard, halfway between the Arctic Circle and the North Pole. It's an underground vault for agricultural seeds, a kind of Noah's Ark for millions of varieties of wheat, rice, and hundreds of other crops that farmers no longer plant in their fields.

For a soft-spoken man from western Tennessee named Cary Fowler, it's the culmination of a lifelong -- and controversial -- campaign.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Dan Charles
Dan Charles is NPR's food and agriculture correspondent.