The UFA-REFOREST project aims to plant, over a period of four years, a little more than 240,000 trees in the Forest Management Units (FMUs) of four forestry companies (Pallisco, Alpicam-Grumcam, Seef and Sefac) in eastern Cameroon. To achieve this goal, it is essential to set up a seed supply system that guarantees sufficient production of quality seedlings. The harvesting of forest seeds is therefore at the heart of this project's activities, as are the communities living near the FMUs of the companies supervised by the project.
During their various missions in the field (prospecting, monitoring of devices, etc.), the companies' teams are responsible for collecting seeds to supply their nurseries. Given the reforestation objectives set by the project, this supply is insufficient. In order to increase the quantities of seeds harvested, two supply systems have been set up:
The training of community collectors, which was organized within the Peasant Forest Committees (PFCs) of the Pallisco company, was aimed at training local communities in the identification of better seed sources and the harvesting of quality seeds, in accordance with the harvesting protocol adopted by the project. The PFCs are platforms for dialogue between communities, forestry companies and the forestry administration.
It was also decided to set up a network of collectors in these PFCs in order to ensure a substantial supply of quality seeds for the nurseries of the four companies supervised by the project. This network of collectors will operate during the 4 years of the project. The choice of priority species are those presenting a problem of natural regeneration and a low rate of reconstitution within the FMUs. After analysis of the management plans of the companies supervised by the project, ten species were chosen (Assamela, Ayous, Iroko, Kossipo, Moabi, Okan, Sapelli, Sipo, Tali and Tiama).
At the end of this training session, 110 people, including 29 women, were trained, including representatives of indigenous populations. After the establishment of this network of collectors in the communities bordering the FMUs, more than 20,000 moabi seeds were collected. In the Nkongsamba and Douala area, more than 55 kg of seeds of 6 different species were also collected. These seeds were purchased and used to supply the project nurseries.
Family photo at CPF Lomié 1 (Mintoum)
Several difficulties were noted during the implementation of these seed supply systems:
The degradation of certain seeds caused by the delay in sowing, and the time it takes to transfer the seeds to the companies' nurseries.