Tree Seed Training and Extension Resources

bullet1 INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY

This site - which is available either on the internet or as a CD (EXT-CD) - summarises a study of training and extension resources related to forest reproductive material (i.e. seeds, cuttings etc). It was carried out in two stages. The first stage was commissioned by the Forest Resources Development Service (FORM) of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) during 2002/03. The second stage was organised by Forest & Landscape, Denmark at the end of 2005. The work was made possible by a special funding from the FAO-Netherlands Partnership Programme on Agro-biodiversity, and DANIDA.

Aim
The aim is to facilitate access to extension resources concerning tree seed and related topics, and make it easier for extension workers to produce new, appropriate resources, without reinventing the wheel.

Origin
FAO's Forest Resources Development Service (FORM) had been receiving many requests for information regarding forest seed and germplasm. This prompted the setting up of :
(1) a forest reproductive material website
(www.fao.org/forestry/site/11388/en)  and 
(2) a parallel publication (
http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/AD093E/AD093E00.HTM) 
     (see also the original version on the EXT-CD) 
These provide general information. Additionally, it was decided that some of the enquiries could be addressed in the long-term by making better use of existing teaching and extension resources.

Method
The study started by identifying, reviewing and assessing the relevance and accessibility of existing resources worldwide. This was done by visiting FAO headquarters and contacting  national and international agencies via the internet. Where necessary, steps were taken to make key resources available in electronic form, and to obtain permission - with due acknowledgement - for text and graphics to be copied, modified or translated. The main outputs of the study are this site, and the electronic material available online or on the CD. A draft, "beta" edition of the site was posted on the Danida Forest Seed Centre's (DFSC) website (now part of Forest & Landscape, Denmark (SL), which is an independent centre of the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (KVL)) at the end of 2003. The idea was to encourage users to feed back comments about further resources that could be included. On the basis of this feedback, an updated version of the site was prepared. Comments are still welcome - please contact SL-KVL
if you have any comments or suggestions.

Scope
This study has focused on technical topics. It has not specifically examined general methodology of training and extension, nor people-skills such as facilitation, participatory methodologies, management and administrative topics. These are important and are often key to the success or failure of training and extension efforts, but they are common to all branches of forestry and agriculture, and are best reviewed at that level. The study has also tried to focus on technical and field level resources.  Tree seed is increasingly being collected by and for farmers, and so extension material should be at a level suitable for them, concerned with  identification of suitable trees for collections, basic principles of tree selection, harvesting and storage, and collection and distribution of quality seed by and to farmers. Also, in large scale national extension programmes,  it is important to ensure that collection and distribution of quality seed is of the species that the farmers want.

Structure
Besides this introduction, the site has the following main sections:

  • OVERVIEW, which provides an A-Z table and a sortable Excel spreadsheet summarising all the resources, with short cuts to recommended resources. The next page explains how the resources have been grouped into categories.
  • GUIDELINES, which discuss the material, look at the lessons learnt, and make suggestions and give ideas on how to produce new material.
  • RESOURCE DATABASE by id. no. The top left hand branches of the site map are linked to the individual resources pages in numerical order.
  • CD RESOURCES. This site is also available as a CD (identified as EXT-CD), which contains many key documents to facilitate use offline. Details of these resources are found in Annex 1.