On the island of Spitsbergen, located in Arctic Ocean, in 2006 a unique structure was built – a world bank-seed storage. In it, it was decided to store the planting stock of practically all agricultural plants in the world, in case the Earth suffered a sad fate in the event of a nuclear war or a natural cataclysm, after which it would have to be sown from scratch. The store was built on the money of the Norwegian authorities and cost $ 9,000,000. Over time, it became clear that the project needs to be developed, so Norway is ready to invest additional funds in it.
The Norwegian authorities will allot 100 million Norwegian kroner ($ 12.7 million) to expand and improve the storage. For this money, it is planned to build an additional service tunnel for access to the building, as well as a room that will provide the storehouse with backup electricity in the event of an unexpected outage of external power. In addition, an additional cooling system will be installed and launched in the building, as well as the removal of the heat it generates.
The Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry of Norway, John Dale, asserts that the construction will begin very soon. The authorities of the country are sure that the salvation of such valuable genetic material is a very important task, requiring as soon as possible the rapid implementation. To date, the depository contains more than 4.5 million seeds of various agricultural plants (more than 890,000 samples from different countries), among which are varieties of rice, potatoes, corn, wheat, barley and other crops.