ICRAF's multipurpose tree and shrub information system
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Woody perennials are vital components of agroforestry systems. However, the state of knowledge about most of the large number of useful species is inferior to that about other components in such systems. In order to close this gap and expedite research, ICRAF has built up a multipurpose tree and shrub information system. The recommendations of an international workshop on multipurpose tree germplasm, organized by ICRAF in collaboration with CFI and IBPGR, have been instrumental in either encouraging the pursuance of activities already started or initiating new projects. In its endeavour to serve those institutions and individual scientists who require information on multipurpose trees, ICRAF has established a Multipurpose Tree and Shrub Data Base and compiled and published a Multipurpose Tree and Shrub Seed Directory. As by-products of these two core activities, a number of related projects have been carried out, including the development of a rapid appraisal methodology for selecting priority species for further development, the preparation of multipurpose tree and shrub crop sheets, and an inventory of MPT-related data bases. In a considerable number of publications the concepts and objectives of these activities have been explained. More than 140 information requests in multipurpose trees have been answered with the help of the Multipurpose Tree and Shrub Data Base and the information gap concerning germplasm availability has been closed by the publication of the Multipurpose Tree and Shrub Seed Directory.
KeywordsInformation System Data Base International Workshop Tree Germplasm Agroforestry System
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