Field Conversation

Some of the agroforestry tree species have intermediate or recalcitrant seeds that cannot tolerate desiccation hence cannot be stored in the cold rooms and are therefore conserved as live trees in Field Genebanks. ICRAF genebank has over 12,000 accessions of 49 species in  39 field sites in 16 countries in different regions in Africa, Latin America, Asia (East Central, South & South East Asia), where it collaborates with partners in the respective countries. Field genebanks sites are selected based on species-specific ecological suitability.

Field genebank stands have several functions: i) germplasm conservation, ii) germplasm evaluation, iii) source of seed or vegetative material for further planting iv) demonstration plots. Field Genebanks also contribute to the global tree cover.

Conservation through field genebanks is limited by the trees' large growth forms that will require more space and need to have multiple sites to fulfil the species-specific growth requirements.

(a) Vitellaria paradoxa and (b) Ziziphus mauritiana conservation stands, Samanko, Mali

Monitoring phenology in Dacryodes edulis in ICRAF genebank in Mbalmayo, Cameroon

Assessment of fruit yield in Irvingia wombolu accessions in Onne, Nigeria