Category Archives: Volume 32 No. 2 (2010) (ACIAR Special Issue)

Research Note: ERDB Research, Development and Extension Strategies for the Production of High Quality Planting Materials

Author(s): Rafael Cadiz, Marilyn Landicho and Mylene Aparente


The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau of the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), is presently conducting research, development and extension strategies for the production of high quality planting materials. The activities include the verification and assessment of existing seed stands and identification of new seed stands, as seed sources of indigenous and exotic species nationwide. Propagation protocols are being developed for some demand-driven indigenous species, and provenance cum progeny trials are being conducted for narra (Pterocarpus indicus), yemane (Gmelina arborea) and molave (Vitex parviflora). Extension activities include the establishment of a database of the information gathered by the project, capacity building, and production of brochures, leaflets and videos. It is considered that all possible mechanisms should be employed to transfer the research results effectively.

Keywords: propagation protocols, seed stands, provenance and progeny testing, data base establishment, GIS-based map

Annals of Tropical Research 32(2):111-121(2010)

Financial Modelling of Smallholder Seedling Production

Author(s): Steve Harrison1, Nestor Gregorio2 and Wendy Wilson1


A financial model of smallholder forestry seedling nursery on Leyte Island has been developed as a contribution to the ACIAR project ASEM/2006/091 – Enhancing tree seedling supply via economic and policy changes in the Philippines nursery sector. Two versions of this model have been developed – one for a best management practice nursery and one for a representative smallholder nursery. This paper describes the data collection, and model development and implementation. Some implications are drawn for policy development concerning adoption of best management practice in smallholder nurseries. Possibilities for further development and application of the seedling nursery model are discussed.

Keywords : financial viability, best management practice, representative smallholder nursery, scenario analysis

Annals of Tropical Research 32(2):101-110(2010)

Design and Implementation of a Communication Campaign on Best Management Practice for Forest Nurseries

Author(s): Rotacio Gravoso, Nestor Gregorio, Annabelle Gerona and Jayson Godoy


High quality tree seedlings are critical factors which determine the success of tree plantation projects. To produce high quality seedlings, nursery operators need to apply appropriate nursery management practices. However, tree seedlings produced by nursery operators in the Philippines are often of low quality, due in part to weak organization in the nursery sector and lack of skills in the application of nursery practices among nursery operators. The Q-seedling Project or Seedling Enhancement Project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is being implemented in Leyte and Northern Mindanao to remedy this skills gap. The project includes a communication component to promote widespread adoption of best management practice in forest nurseries. Following the strategic communication approach, information dissemination activities in the project are based on the needs of the target users. Training workshops have been held on producing high quality seedlings. Also, communication materials have been developed for nursery operations, including a training guide, videos instructional posters on Q-seedling production technologies, and a jingle about Q-seedlings. This paper describes the design and use of these communication materials.

Keywords : Information dissemination, strategic communication, instructional materials, forest nursery

Annals of Tropical Research 32(2):89-99(2010)

Ensuring Seedling Quality through Fruit Tree Nursery Accreditation and Implications for Forest Nursery Accreditation

Author(s): Don Immanuel Edralin and Agustin Mercado, Jr


The fruit tree nursery accreditation scheme implemented by the Philippine Department of Agriculture has been promoted to enhance the supply of high quality fruit tree planting materials and reduce the number of dubious seedling market players. This paper examines the advantages to participating nurseries in the fruit tree nursery accreditation scheme and draws implications for possible formulation of a scheme to accredit forest tree nurseries in the Philippines. Data were collected from interviews with accredited fruit tree nursery operators and the nursery accreditation officer-in-charge in Northern Mindanao province. A major advantage of nursery accreditation is that only accredited fruit tree nursery operators can participate in the bidding process of the government seedling procurement program, which always involves a substantial volume of seedlings. As a form of advertisement, accredited nurseries are posted on the government website thus creating a wide range of market opportunities which results in increased sales. Other advantages enjoyed by accredited fruit tree nurseries include receiving free training in improving seedling production and occasionally receiving high quality propagation materials (scions and seedlings), subsidies for pesticides and fertilizers and free soil tests. Observations of advantages gained by nursery operators adopting certification have encouraged other nursery operators to apply for accreditation. Accreditation by the Department of Agriculture places emphasis on maintaining high genetic quality as well as high physical quality of planting materials. Accrediting forestry nurseries is seen as a potential policy option that can expand the supply of high quality tree seedlings in the Philippines, as has been the experience with fruit tree nursery certification.

Keywords: accreditation scheme, certification criteria, preferential bidding, technical support, scion groves

Annals of Tropical Research 32(2):81-88(2010)

Review of Current Nursery Accreditation and Seedling Certification Systems for Forest and Fruit Trees in Leyte and Samar Islands, the Philippines

Author(s): Eduardo O. Mangaoang


Forest nursery and seedling production in Leyte and Samar has been an unsustainable development and livelihood undertaking, the focus of which has been solely to serve the usual funded reforestation projects that merely recognize quantity rather than quality of planting materials produced. As a consequence, forest nursery and seedling production has never been established as a sustainable business venture, particularly at the smallholder and local community level. Forest nursery accreditation and planting stock certification is believed to be a sound strategy that can promote high quality forest tree seedling production which would eventually establish the activity as a lucrative livelihood venture especially for smallholders and local communities. The nursery accreditation and planting material certification experiences for fruit and forest trees in Leyte and Samar provide a useful basis and guide in developing and formalizing a system suitable for forest nursery accreditation and planting stock certification. The DA-BPI and DBP accreditation systems can serve as a guide in framing-up the physical standard for a viable and sustainable forest nursery business, with necessary consideration for smallholder operators. Both, however, lack the necessary technical menu and the required best management practices that are crucial in coming up with an improved nursery accreditation and planting stock certification scheme that is achievable and affordable, particularly for smallholder nursery operators.

Keywords : forest nursery accreditation, planting stock certification, smallholder nursery operators

Annals of Tropical Research 32(2):71-79(2010)

Observations of Forestry Seedling Production Systems in Thailand and Vietnam

Author(s): Steve Harrison1 and Nestor Gregorio2


Visits to forestry agencies and seedling nurseries in Thailand and Vietnam revealed an impressive level of progress in regard to both industrial and small-scale forestry. In both countries, reforestation is accorded high priority, the government is a major player in nursery seedling production, and a high level of technology is used in producing seedlings. Universities also play an active role in forestry seedling production. The visit provided valuable lessons for seedling production systems in the Philippines, including information about the roles of government versus private nurseries and about seedling quality and nursery accreditation.

Keywords : Seedling certification, pulp and paper, framework plantings, forest restoration, acacia hybrid

Annals of Tropical Research 32(2):51-69(2010)

Insights from the Farm Forestry Tree Seedling Nursery Sector in Western Java, Indonesia

Author(s): Agustin Mercado Jr1, Paul Dargusch2 and Nestor Gregorio3


This paper reports observations of a study tour by the authors of the farm forestry tree seedling nursery sector in Western Java, Indonesia. Industry stakeholders were found to recognise and value high quality germplasm and seedling quality for commercial farm forestry success. These quality preferences of stakeholders are supported by the use of a simple tree seedling certification scheme through which certified seedlings receive a premium selling price. Other initiatives, including government extension efforts, tree seed centres and vegetative propagation, provide complementary support for the preference and promotion of high seedling quality in the Western Java farm forestry industry.

Keywords : clonal forestry, seedling quality certification, seedling value chain, community-based forest management

Annals of Tropical Research 32(2):35-50(2010)

The Need for Improved Nursery Management Practices and Marketing in the Tree Nurseries of Northern Mindanao

Author(s): Don Immanuel Edralin and Agustin Mercado Jr


Tree growing is recognized to provide economic and environmental benefits, and this has resulted in tree growing initiatives in Northern Mindanao. However, tree growing is faced with constraints including high field mortality and poor timber stands, with low merchantable height and diameter. This paper seeks to discern the quality differences of seedlings grown in three nursery types in Northern Mindanao, and to investigate the influence of nursery facilities and cultural management practices on seedling quality. Seedling quality was assessed through random sampling of planting materials. Information about nursery facilities and cultural management practices were obtained through interviews with nursery operators and through visual observations. It was found that private, communal and government nurseries have facilities designed for low-cost production of seedlings. The lack of hardening beds and raised benches used for seedling acclimatization explains the inability of seedlings to survive when outplanted. Seedlings were found to be of low quality in all nursery types, with weak stems, unbalanced root-shoot ratio and with J-root formation. It was also found that most nurseries did not apply soil treatment which is one of the basics for growing seedlings. There is an urgent need to improve nursery management practices by employing best management practices including proper hardening techniques using effective but non-expensive hardening beds and soil sterilization to improve seedling quality.

Keywords: facilities, sturdiness quotient, root-shoot ratio, hardening beds

Annals of Tropical Research 32(2):27-34(2010)

Profiling Tree Nurseries in Northern Mindanao, the Philippines

Author(s): Don Immanuel Edralin and Agustin Mercado Jr


Forestry nurseries play an important role in supporting small-scale plantations, tree farming as well as government initiated afforestation and reforestation programs. However, some major constraints have been identified in the forestry nursery sector in the Philippines, particularly in the supply of high quality planting materials. This hindrance is being investigated to formulate intervention points as part of a continuing research project on enhancing tree seedling supply via economic and policy changes, funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). This paper presents baseline information regarding the profile of forestry nurseries in the Northern Mindanao region of the Philippines through personal interviews of operators of private, communal and government nurseries. Most nurseries in all three nursery types are operating on a small scale and are strategically situated based on the purpose of their existence. Private nurseries, being business oriented, are located near main roads, as are government nurseries which distribute seedlings mostly without charge but in some cases for sale. Communal nurseries are mostly situated on farms because they cater to the seedling needs of their members and are therefore established far away from main roads. In terms of stability, private and government nurseries are stable compared to communal nurseries which rely on support organizations. When the support ceases communal nurseries also cease to operate. There is no current policy that supports the production and use of high quality seedlings. Intervention points to address these problems are seen as necessary extension efforts in promoting the use of high quality seedlings, thereby creating a strong seedling market, training operators to increase their capability to produce high quality seedlings, and promoting and supporting the forestry nursery industry, including introduction of tree nursery certification.

Keywords : nursery capacity, communal nurseries, certification, snowball sampling

Annals of Tropical Research 32(2):15-25(2010)

The Seedling Nursery Survey on Leyte Island, the Philippines

Author(s): Nestor Gregorio1, Steve Harrison2 and John Herbohn2


Private and government nurseries in the Philippines are not delivering high quality planting materials of a wide species base for smallholder forestry, tree farming and reforestation programs in the country. A project supported by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) has been conducted to improve the operational effectiveness of the forest nursery sector in the Philippines. Surveys involving personal interviews of nursery operators, observations of the nursery design and facilities and assessment of seedling quality have been undertaken in Leyte (reported in this paper) and in Mindanao to provide baseline information for designing possible interventions. The Leyte study revealed that the low operational effectiveness of forest nurseries is a result of a combination of social, economic, technical and political factors. The majority of private nurseries are managed by resource-constrained smallholders with little access to high quality seedling production technologies. Seedling production, both in private and government nurseries, is largely quantity-oriented and the pathway of high quality germplasm is not well developed. Government nurseries operate to provide free seedlings but this scheme results in crowding out the small-scale private nurseries, reducing the operational effectiveness of the private nursery sector. It appears that improving the operational effectiveness of the forest nursery sector in the Philippines requires policy changes to re-organize the operation of private and government nurseries and to strengthen the implementation of existing policies regulating the quality of planting stock from the forest nursery sector.

Annals of Tropical Research 32(2):1-14(2010)