Trends in genetic resources utilization in Nigeria national gene bank.
Reservoirs of variation offered by conserved germplasm are required by plant breeders, agricultural researchers, research students and farmers for crop selection, improvement and production to ensure food security needs of the world's rapidly rising population. The establishment of large, crop-genepool-specific collections at NACGRAB (National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology) gene bank, Ibadan, southwest Nigeria was based mostly on targeted collections over the years and donations. Conservation and utilization of plants genetic resources are important components of ex-situ collections. This article describes the utilization of conserved germplasm in NACGRAB gene bank as expressed from seed collection data of various end user institutions in the country over three years. The results show an increase in number of accessions of different crop species collected over the period under review. However, most collecting institutions are in close proximity to the gene bank. Highlighted were the need for improvement of utilization of gene bank materials in Nigeria through organization of campaign and public awareness programmes aimed at sensitizing the populace on germplasm utilization and improvement in networking to pivot some of the exploration activities based on their needs, and collaboration with other stakeholders to undertake germplasm characterization and evaluation in order to reduce cost.