Gmelina arborea - a viable species for smallholder tree farming in Indonesia? uri icon

abstract

  • Across Indonesia there are millions of hectares of degraded land in need of rehabilitation. There is interest at both the government and farmer level of converting some of these lands to more productive use, including growing trees. Smallholders often practice tree farming to generate income and traditionally cultivate a wide range of tree species in mixed agroforestry systems. Grown to satisfy both household needs and market demand, smallholder-produced timber might play a potentially important role in local markets. Tectona grandis, Swietenia macrophylla, and Paraserianthes falcataria are common smallholder timber species. Gmelina arborea (gmelina) is easy to cultivate and grow at the smallholder level. It has been widely grown in plantations in South and Southeast Asia, including Indonesia. However, gmelina is not yet a priority species with Indonesian smallholder farmers. Experience indicates that marketable small-diameter gmelina timbers can be produced in 7 - 10 years and that price compares well with that of Paraserianthes, the most widely grown short-rotation smallholder timber species in Indonesia. Most gmelina seed originates in Central Java, from where large quantities of seed are shipped annually to other parts of Indonesia. This seed is of uncertain quality, as seed sources are unidentified and seed collection guidelines are not used. It is recommended to establish smallholder plantations with seed of known quality. Gmelina holds promise as one component for a multi-species smallholder tree farming systems to produce short-rotation timbers for household use and local markets.

publication date

  • 2004
  • 2004