Planted baobab trees in a farmer’s field near Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (Photo by Henri Bouda 2005).
Nairobi, 22 February 2018 – The provision of quality tree germplasm can increase investments in forestry related businesses and profits from them, in addition to those in agroforestry systems in Africa. Widening gaps in the supply and demand of good quality germplasm for forest establishment programmes calls for interventions to ensure that forestry stakeholders are equipped with up to date information on tree germplasm management
The African Forest Forum (AFF) and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Niger are organising a regional training course on “tree improvement and seed management for Central and West Africa” from 26 February to 2 March 2018 in Niamey, Niger. The overall objective of the training course is to provide participants with knowledge and skills on present day forest tree improvement and tree germplasm management, and to promote interaction between tree seed managers and forestry stakeholders in Africa. Ultimately the course will strengthen the capacity of African governments and other stakeholders in forestry and related fields to effectively facilitate the provision of better quality germplasm. The specific objectives of the training course are to:

Enhance the understanding of forestry practitioners on the linkages between tree planting (including for commercial and farm forestry), tree breeding and quality tree seed production, and provide a broad perspective on tree improvement issues in Africa.
Equip forestry practitioners with knowledge, skills and tools to be able to estimate areas to be planted, select tree species for planting and undertake tree planting.       
Equip forestry practitioners with knowledge, skills and tools on best practices in tree seed production management, specifically focusing on seed collection, processing, storage, testing and distribution.
Provide an opportunity for experts from different countries to meet and exchange information on tree seed management, discuss common problems/issues, and propose better ways to coordinate the supply of quality tree germplasm that can improve investments in primary  forest production  and agroforestry systems.

The expected results include:

Enhanced understanding, among forestry practitioners, of the requirements critical for quality tree germplasm supply that could increase productivity and profitability of commercial and farm forests as well as agroforestry and parkland systems.
Strengthened capacity of forestry practitioners on tree seed management for provision of high quality tree germplasm to support primary forest production investments and agroforestry and parkland systems.
Identified mechanisms to assist investors in tree growing investments, including small holder farmers and the private sector, to access information on good quality, better adapted germplasm that can improve tree productivity and profitability.
A network of African stakeholders on tree improvement and seed management established.

The regional training workshop will attract varied practitioners including government officials, scientists, civil society and private sector involved in management and utilization of tree germplasm to support afforestation,  reforestation and agroforestry initiatives in West and Central Africa sub-regions. The training workshop is an integral component of the AFF’s project on “Strengthening Sustainable Forest Management in Africa” that is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
For further information on the workshop contact
The Executive Secretary,
African Forest Forum,
United Nations Avenue, Gigiri
P.O. Box 30677-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.
Phone: +254 20 722 4203.
Fax: +254 20 722 4001/4181