The University of Leuven uses specific techniques to preserve over 1500 different species of bananas.
Bananas are a staple crop for more than one third of the global population. It is the world's fourth most important crop after rice, wheat and corn. Africa relies most on bananas; not just for food, but also as a huge source of income.
KU Leuven's banana gene pool safely houses over 1500 species of bananas. It collects information on every kind, improves diversity and its usage to keep all species alive for the sake of future generations. Bananas are constantly under threat of diseases and deforestation. Species that are brought in to the lab in Leuven are undone of malicious diseases. Up to now, 70% of the collection is already healthy.
The lab also researches bananas that prove to be more resistant against droughts, securing this staple crop's future by allowing it to keep on growing in the regions where it is needed the most.