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02.03.2006 Regional News

FORIG to benefit from establishment of tree seed centre

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Fumesua (Ash), March 2, GNA - The Government has contracted a loan of about 400,000 US Dollars from the African Development Bank (ADB) for the establishment of a National Tree Seed Centre at the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG).

Dr Joseph Cobbinah, Director of the FORIG, who announced this, said the project is due to take-off early this year.

Dr. Cobbinah was briefing the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Fumesua on Wednesday, on some of the initiatives taken by the Institute to help regenerate the depleting forests.

The centre, he said, would serve as a seed bank place where seeds for plantation development would be collected from the field and stored in various refrigerators and later supplied to needy groups and people willing to establish tree plantations. Prior to the storage of the seeds, their germination percentage would be tested and also their viability ascertained before their release from the centre to people.

The Director said FORIG has been selected to become the main source and supplier of such tree seeds from the centre when it is established. Dr Cobbinah said since tree seeds become scarce during periods when trees do not fruit, the centre "will fill the vacuum by releasing the seeds it will store for planting.

He said apart from the seed centre, the FORIG had also established a number of tree orchards as part of measures to help replenish the degraded forest in the country. Dr Cobbinah said the tree orchards, which are made up of a variety of tree species, are special and quality tree species in a defined location that could be used for manufacturing industries and research works. March 02 06