Tree seed center
The Tree Seed Centre has built standard infrastructure to collect, process, test, store and distribute tree seeds of over 100 indigenous and exotic species. The laboratory is equipped to test seed for quality assurance using the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) Guidelines. For storage the Centre has ambient rooms, and the cold room (4oC).
1) Tree Nursery management
NTSC manages a tree nursery to supply seedlings of priority species to meet the demand for seedling for tree planting programs. At the launch of NFA in April 2004, the capacity of the nursery was about 70,000 seedlings annually. This has been expanded since then to two million seedlings per year, and is an indication of increased plant germplasm movement.
Currently, the priority species are for timber (mainly Pine, Eucalyptus, Musizi, Terminalia, and Araucaria. However with increasing demand, NTSC is giving more attention to the production of fruit trees (grafted mangoes, avocadoes, budded oranges, pawpaw, jackfruit, and passion fruits), which have of recent increased demand. Also available are the agro-forestry species, medicinal trees, and ornamental tree species.
Tree farmers are also provided with useful information and advice on species-site matching, spacing, and other relevant silvicultural practices. Field checks are also undertaken by the staff as a follow-up on the performance of the seed and seedlings and to further advise the farmers.
2) Tree Seed Source Development
NTSC establishes and manages seed sources, promotes research on species performance and site suitability for various species. These seed sources are well-established and of good genetic and physiological quality both in natural forests and plantations. Some seed sources are in the protected areas (forest reserves, national parks and wildlife reserves), while others are privately managed on-farm.
Most of the agro-forestry species are collected from seed collection zones and identified stands. The seed for timber species are mainly from selected stands and seed production areas. Currently, the Tree Improvement Unit has identified priority species (both local and exotic species) that are to be managed to enhance the genetic and physiological quality. There is increasing effort to establish seedling seed orchards.
The private farmers collaborate with NTSC to establish and manage trees on-farm for purposes of producing quality seed. NTSC provides technical guidance for this purpose. This makes such farmers legible to sell their seed to NTSC.
3) Training and Advisory Services
The National Tree Seed Centre offers training and advisory services in seed & tree nursery management and plantation forestry. This targets private seed suppliers, and nursery owners and operators, NGOs, local governments, schools, and investors in plantation forestry. Training is at a cost, and has been organized into three modules, namely Nursery management, Seed collection and handling, and Plantation establishment. Tailor-made courses may be designed depending on the needs of the clients. Information materials are provided, including seed handling notes, to address all plantation forestry-related queries.
Many persons have been trained by the Centre since 2005, some of whom are currently earning a living out of tree nursery practice, or have improved their skills in plantation management.
4) How Can I Access NTSC Services?
The National Tree Seed Centre has fast developed in the last four years into a strong organisation to supply quality tree seed and planting materials. To enable the Centre to provide goods and services more effectively, it is important that advance arrangements are made with Management, through the following contact address.
NATIONAL TREE SEED CENTRE
Namanve, 12 Km Kampala – Jinja Highway, Kampala, Uganda
P. O. Box 70863, Kampala; Tel: 256 414 286049; Fax: 256 414 285326