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Tree Seedling Production Systems in Northern Mindanao, Philippines


This paper examines seedling production systems for small-scale forestry in northern Mindanao, particularly the constraints and opportunities to sustain the operation of smallholder nurseries. Various types of nurseries were identified to examine issues and concerns operators face, and data collected through a survey of nursery operators, discussion with government and NGO personnel, and literature review. Many smallholders in northern Mindanao have been engaged in seedling production, for farm needs and sale in local markets. The interest of smallholder to sustain seedling production depends on market demand and incentives, which translates to financial benefit on sound nursery practices and of reliable access to profitable markets. Activities that will assist smallholder nurseries to achieve full potential have been identified as: available nursery technologies to produce high quality planting materials in sufficient quantity; building farmer groups to facilitate seedling production and enhance the scale of product marketing; building partnerships with various service providers and other stakeholders to address technical, institutional, marketing and policy issues that may hamper the operation of smallholder nurseries; access to markets and market information; and provision of incentives and policy support. Associated benefits from small-scale seedling production accrue to the government, wood processors and to the public in general.

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Fig. 1


  1. 1.

    A distinction is made in this paper between private and smallholder nurseries. The former are considered to be larger, and to mainly produce seedlings for sale rather than on-farm use.


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Correspondence to Agustin R. Mercado Jr..

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Mercado, A.R., Duque-Piñon, C. Tree Seedling Production Systems in Northern Mindanao, Philippines. Small-scale Forestry 7, 225–243 (2008).

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  • Smallholder nurseries
  • Nursery technologies
  • Institution building
  • Partnership-building
  • Marketing
  • Incentives