One of the main aims of a rural development program must be to make local communities as self-reliant as possible so that they are not affected by budget cuts, policy changes, bureaucracy or even mood changes of decision makers. All too often, any benefits derived from rural projects last only as long as the project budget and personnel; local communities are not given skills or capabilities necessary to continue by themselves and financial input needed to continue as before is beyond their means.
The issue of tree seed and community forestry seems to have been all but totally neglected. Yet, in order to make community forestry programs sustainable in the long term a seed factor must be built in to them; they should not be planned to rely on free handouts of seedlings from government agencies and charitable organizations. Communities should have the capability to at least grow their own seedlings and should be capable of handling tree seed.
As community forestry experience with tree seed is so little worldwide, this paper is an attempt to describe the issues involved and the steps to be taken in involving community forestry with tree seed.
This paper was written by Henry Wood as part of the Master of Science degree at the Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand. September 1989.