The role of NARO is to create and promote scientific innovations in the field of agriculture and food, and our missions are as follows:
- To contribute to converting agriculture into a robust industry to provide a stable supply of safe, reliable, and high-quality agricultural and food products.
- To contribute to Japanese economic growth by strengthening the global competitiveness of the local agricultural and food industry.
- To establish the capability to overcome the adverse effects of global warming and the threat of natural disasters.
The Genetic Resources Center, NARO (NGRC), shares the missions with NARO and is in charge of the Genebank project conserving the diverse genetic resources related to food and agriculture.
The collection of the NARO Genebank is the genetic resources accumulated by researchers over time. It consists of more than 260,000 pieces of genetic resources from plants, animals, and microorganisms. We have been dispatching researchers to all parts of Japan and overseas to study and collect genetic resources. Approximately 2,000 new resources are added to the collection, and 12,000 genetic resources with relevant information have been distributed annually to users for breeding, scientific studies including genome research, and educational purposes. Our global activities include the 'PGRAsia' project, an international collaborative mission to conserve the diversity of plant genetic resources (PGR) in partnership with Asian countries. Consigned by MAFF, NGRC acts as the leader of various national research institutes, universities, and Prefectural research institutions in Japan.
reason for the importance of wide coverage lies in the ever-changing surroundings of nature and human society. Climate change is dropping a large impact on agriculture, and it is expected to become even prominent in the future. On the other hand, Japan is experiencing decreasing population and rapid aging of the society. The world population is expanding rapidly, so fast that it is expected to reach 97 billion by 2050. Developing new cultivars and agricultural technologies to cope with these new settings is a global requirement. To achieve the goal, elucidating the functions of the genes hidden in the vast genetic information is essential. Our collection reflects the biodiversity in nature. The rich genetic resource of the NARO Genebank contributes to decoding diverse genetic information of the world and foster the breeding process of new cultivars to become more efficient and faster.
Our mind is set continuously on the various issues in food and agriculture, and we strive to solve the problems from a long-term point of view. NGRC continues our endeavor to preserve the invaluable genetic resources which are the human heritage and to pass them to the next generation. At the same time, we further promote our partnership with the research institutes worldwide to utilize the full potential of all living things from the collaborative approach.
Director of Genetic Resources Center