Conservation of the genetic diversity of agricultural plants and animals

The preservation, conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of agricultural plants and animals are regulated by Finland’s National Genetic Resources Programme for Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery (2018), which is based on international agreements, frameworks and action plans. 

The main objective of the plant genetic resources programme is to improve the conservation and sustainable use of the diversity of the genetic resources of crops (food and feed crops, medicinal, ornamental and landscaping plants and wild relatives of cultivated crops). This is done by inventorying, evaluating and maintaining the genetic resources of crops cultivated in Finland. Besides these, the programme includes the promotion of communication, teaching and research related to plant genetic resources and international cooperation among experts. 

The animal genetic resources programme aims to secure the national genetic resources of domestic animals (horse, chicken, dog, sheep, bee, cattle, reindeer, pig and goat) for the present and future agricultural and food production and other uses. This is done through analyses and inventories, sustainable utilisation and conservation of local breeds, and participation in national and international expert work. Promoting communication and research is also important. Diverse animal genetic resources are an absolute necessity for the breeding of domestic animals and the research and development work related to this. 

The storage and maintenance of plants under the genetic resources programme takes place at the Natural Resources Institute Finland or in the premises of its cooperation partners. The breeding of cattle and other animals is mainly done by the cooperation partners. Today the long-term storage of plant propagation material and gametes of animals in liquid nitrogen, i.e. cryostorage or cryopreservation, has an important role as well. 

In Finland, the Natural Resources Institute coordinates the plant and animal genetic resources programmes and collaborates with NordGen that operates under the Nordic Council of Ministers. The Natural Resources Institute Finland also participates in regional cooperation in Europe. The objectives of the National Genetic Resources Programme are also promoted through measures and funding under the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU.  


Related topics

Genetic resources (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)

Related links

Plant genetic resources programme(Luke, in Finnish)
Animal genetic resources programme (Luke, in Finnish)

Contract concerning the maintenance of local crop varieties (area-related support, in Finnish)
Safety base collections of local crop varieties (area-related support, in Finnish)
Contract concerning the rearing of indigenous breeds (animal-related support, in Finnish)

NordGen Plants
NordGen Farm Animals

The European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources
European Regional Focal Point for Animal Genetic Resources


Further information

Johanna Nykyri, Senior Specialist 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Food Department, Unit for Animal and Plant Health Telephone:0295162452   Email Address: