Many efforts are underway for implementing the ambitious afforestation/reforestation and restoration targets of the Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy (CRGE) of Ethiopia. Success in forest programs is highly dependent on the supply of good quality and sufficient amounts of seed/germplasm of the required species. This in turn requires the availability of good quality seed sources, procuring good quality seeds, and development of effective seed systems.
- Description of the Coordination Unit
The Tree Seed Technology Coordination Unit of the Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute is mandated to procure quality tree seeds, develop referral tree seed sources and generate technologies and scientific information that can be applied to improve the seed system of the country. The coordination has two divisions. The Tree Seed Procurement and Tree Seed Source Management The former division is mainly responsible for collecting quality seeds from identified and managed seed sources and distributing tested seeds to intended users in different agroclimatic zones. The Tree Seed source management division is responsible to generate technologies and scientific information that can be used for quality seed supply in the country. It provides training and advisory services to emerging actors such as regional seed centers, private seed enterprises, and informal seed suppliers that are involved in seed production.
- Areas of focus
The major focus areas of the coordination unit include procurement of quality seeds of different tree species, establishment, and management of different types of seed sources, conducting research on tree seeds (seed biology, seed handling, and storage conditions, seed functional genomics), and developing clonal propagation protocols by employing biotechnology.
- Current Projects
During the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II period), i.e. from 2016-2020, the coordination has planned to supply 58 tons of quality tree seed, develop 41 ha of quality seed sources and manage the already established seed stands. Moreover, the coordination has planned to generate 19 technologies and scientific information on seed biology, seed handling, seed storage conditions, seed functional genomics, genetic diversity of populations, and clonal propagation techniques and biotechnology. It will also develop seed standards and support the establishment of a seed certification system that can be used to improve the seed system of the country.
Yigardu Mulatu (PhD),
Director, Tree Seed Technology Coordination Unit