Tree seed education at agricultural and forestry colleges in Eastern and Southern Africa: an interactive needs assessment and proposed curriculum uri icon

abstract

  • his assessment is recommended reading as it puts the current study in context. (From the preface) This tree seed education needs assessment was commissioned as one of a series of reports and studies prepared by the Forestry Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under the FAO Netherlands Partnership Programme (FNPP) agro-biodiversity support 2003-2004. This particular activity in reviewing tree seed education in agricultural and forestry colleges in eastern and southern Africa was a collaborative undertaking by the Forest Genetic Resources, Forest Extension and Forest Education offices of the FAO Forestry Department, in association with the African Network on Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE), hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF- Nairobi). Extension, communication and information support is required to facilitate better access by nursery operators and farmers to the quantity and quality of tree seeds that they are seeking. In recognition of this demand FAO is working on a series of activities in support of the institutions and service providers in the sector. These activities include: · the development of a web-based resource site of existing tree seed extension materials, in conjunction with the Danish Forest Seed Centre; and · a stakeholder needs assessment of tree seed education at agricultural and forestry colleges mentioned in this report, in conjunction with the African Network on Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE). Though tree seed science is regularly taught to foresters in forestry colleges, involvement in frontline extension by those trained officers is quite limited. Graduates of agricultural colleges, on the other hand, form the bulk of government employees and NGOs involved in frontline extension. Thus the rationale behind this review was to establish the extent to which agricultural programmes at colleges go beyond the basic training in tree nursery establishment, and include aspects of tree seed collection, handling, processing and storage. The review also aimed to establish the extent to which emerging issues related to the decentralization of germplasm supply - social and economic aspects of tree seed access and availability; determination of farmers' needs; establishment of local seed orchards and germplasm management at farm and community levels; and tree seed as a rural enterprise - were currently reflected in the curriculum of both forestry and agricultural colleges

publication date

  • 2005