Tree seed and community forestry

5. Strategies for the involvement of community forestry in tree seed

For seed handling to be taken up by a community the 5 classic adoption steps have to be passed -- awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, adoption., People must also see a need for something in order to have motivation to adopt it. The various types of needs for which humans spend their whole lives trying to fulfil have been classified in order of importance as physiological needs, safety needs, belonging and love needs, esteem needs, and self actualization needs. The factors involved in motivation can also be expressed as psychological factors (e.g. job security, recognition, leisure time, better life), sociological factors (e.g. social status, role expectancy, prestige), economic factors (e.g. more consumer goods, better' home, education for children) (Magno, 1986).

People differ in the rates of progress through the adoption steps. Maunder (1973) classified people into 5 types in terms of speed of adoption. The Innovators make up about 2.5% of the community and are eager to accept new ideas, but may not be highly regarded by the community. The Early Adopter (13.5%) is usually younger than average and quickly sees the value of a new practice and tries it if it is considered to have a chance of success. The Early Majority (34%) are respected by the community and only accept a practice when the community generally accepts. it. The Late Majority (34%) are more conservative and less wealthy, and wait for the community to accept before adopting an innovation themselves. Late Adopters (16%) seldom take any risk and are older than average. In introducing an innovation to a community a balance has to be found between finding someone to adopt it early on and that adopter being respected by the community, so that the rest of the community will accept the value of the innovation.

Organization of a community forestry program is also of prime importance. The amount of involvement and contribution of a local community a village, a public forestry administration and an outside organization can be adapted according to' local conditions.

Figure 1 shows some organizational models for social forestry projects with land, labour, capital, knowledge, organization, being contributed in differing arrangements by the possible parties. However, the role played by the public forestry administration could also be played by a private organization such as an NGO or a private company wishing to obtain forest products on a contractual basis from a community forestry project.

Figure 1 Organizational models for social forestry projects (diagrams of models)

Source: Wiersum FK, 1985.

Similar models to the above can be used to involve community forestry in tree seed handling. The use of differing degrees of involvement by the community and the public forestry organization/private forestry organization can be applied in designing a project for each situation as needed. This can be done a000rding to what each party can contribute and what the 'abilities of the community are perceived to be by the outside help and the community itself. The models suggested following can also be regarded as steps in increasing the involvement of the community in seed handling, so if there is a-training element included the community can progress to the state of most involvement in seed handling.

1. Outside organisation all seed handling and growing seedlings for a community forestry Project

This would involve surveys of trees used by the community, and the needs of the community, leading to identification of the species which fulfill the needs, estimation of quantities required, determining planting methods/systems suitable. Organization of seed involves species to obtain, quantity, place send the seed to, time of sending, and seed handling activities to prepare for sowing, preferably in a nursery in the immunity to provide employment and give experience.

2. Community Forestry project receives seed and produces the seedlings itself

Within the scheme various levels of outside involvement are possible. Starting with obtaining the seed, from a government organization, NGO, or private company, knowledge is needed of seed sources which requires communications to find and order the seed from, knowledge of procedures and forms , species and seed factors such as quantities, storage if necessary, and treatment. ultimate aim would be to give as much self-sufficiency to the project so that it eventually is not a project at all, but a normal activity, and the forestry organization can be called upon is give advice when desired, as with an agricultural extension service.

3. Community forestry collects fruit/seed itself, handles, processes and stores seed, and grows seedlings

The starting point is an accessible source of tree seed. Which means either establishing a seed stand, reserving an area of existing trees for supplying seed, or having access to a seed source. The community will have to know where and when to collect seed, tree- to collect from, including characteristics of suitable trees and seed handling methods. Some organizational abilities will be required and simple equipment for handling the seed. This would give a community the potential to control its own supply of seedlings, and gain income from seed and seedlings. Depending on species, various amounts of employment could be generated, including processing seed of difficult to extract species.

Establishing a seed stand could be done on communal land on the agreement of the community to have this type of land use, or state land with the agreement of the state forestry administration. A seed stand can have multiple uses as long as the trees supplying the desired seed are not damaged. Grazing, fuelwood collection from other species, even intercropping may be possible.

Farmers may be willing to establish seed trees or reserve existing trees as seed trees on their land if they get some benefit from it (which could be seedlings rather than cash) and their crops are not disturbed too much. Trees can be used as seed sources until harvested, possibly to provide some interim income.

Continue ... 6. Conclusions and recommendations

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Tropical Trees for Life