SAWLOG PRODUCTION GRANT SCHEME (SPGS) PRIVATE COMMERCIAL TREE NURSERY CERTIFICATION PROGRAMME
For years now, SPGS clients (private commercial tree growers) and private nursery operators have been asking for a nursery certification system that differentiates good nursery operators from bad ones. This is why SPGS has embarked on a private commercial nursery certification programme. A nursery is considered commercial if it has the capacity to raise at least 100,000 high quality seedlings in a season.
In order to enter the nursery accreditation process, the following pre-requisites must have been met by a nursery:
- The seed used/ clones must have been obtained from a SPGS/UTGA recommended source.
- Must have a holding capacity of 100 000 + in season.
- Nursery should be within a radius of 100 km from the tree growing cluster it supplies.
- The nursery should be accessible.
- Ensure that private commercial tree growers get quality seedlings.
- Promote the production of quality tree seedlings from private nurseries in the right quantities and at the right time.
- Train private nursery operators to become more financially sustainable.
Why should you have good quality seedlings?
Good quality seedlings are the foundation for fast growing high yielding plantations; which give the tree farmer a good profit on their investment in the shortest possible time.
High quality seedlings enhance survival in the field, lead to fast growing and high yielding forests and thus shorten the time between planting and harvesting. Seedlings that are a result of good nursery practice usually withstand transport and planting shock too.
However, planting of quality seedlings needs to be backed by tested and proved establishment and maintenance techniques which are found in our SPGS Tree Planting Guidelines for Uganda.
How is this certification programme done?
The certification programme makes use of a simple but effective checklist for guiding nursery operators. , These contents of the checklist, certification system to use and its implementation were determined through an interactive process with the private forestry sector stakeholders. The checklist covers issues ranging from location (the closer to the plantations the better), practicing the right techniques, using recommended planting material (improved seed), exhibiting high standards of professional ethics, taking good care of workers and the environment and of course ensuring that the enterprise is economically viable for the nursery operator. Following the checklist and advice of SPGS staff enables self-improvement by operators and standardization of nursery practices.
Who benefits from this certification programme?
The certification process will benefit both the private commercial tree growers and nursery operators.
- It will assure tree growers on the quality of seedlings and as such the quality and productivity of trees grown from them provided SPGS establishment and maintenance recommendations are followed.
- It will help nursery operators to have better nurseries thus attract more customers and thereby become more financially sustainable.
Our hope is that accredited private commercial tree nursery operators are going to develop into a strong organization that is financially viable and industrially competitive in terms of seedling quality. It is also our hope that seed suppliers, accredited private commercial tree nurseries and tree growers will work together as an industry.
Where can you find these certified nurseries?
A total of 40 private nurseries all over Uganda were audited in October and November 2010. The attached Map shows 24 certified nurseries that performed to the agreed standards. Those nurseries which did not qualify can be re-audited after they address the non-compliances indicated on their Corrective Action Reports.
SPGS is encouraging new nurseries to register for 2011 certification before end of February 2011.
Where can you find more information on this nursery certification scheme and commercial tree growing in Uganda?