Working Paper

Tree seed procurement-diffusion pathways in Wonogiri and Ponorogo, Java: Indonesia's main source of tree seed


Wonogiri, Central Java and Ponorogo, East Java are neighboring districts (kapubatens). Forty-two percent of their land area is covered with secondary forests of naturalized exotic tree species that are common components of governmental land rehabilitation programs. The seed suppliers operating in the Wonogiri-Ponorogo area represent only 9% of the suppliers in Indonesia yet they possess 90-80% of the national tree seed capacity. Wonogiri-Ponorogo suppliers procure and sell 1510 tons of seed annually. Twenty-four percent of this total (362 tons) is exchange between suppliers; 1148 tons are sold to customers across Indonesia; a small fraction is exported. Seventy-two percent of the seed sold (826 tons) is collected in the Wonogiri-Ponorogo area. The remainder originates in Sumatra, Madura and Nusa Tenggara. In Wonogiri-Ponorogo tree seed is collected by farmers on contract for seed assemblers or seed companies. Assemblers link farmer collectors with seed companies and middlemen, who sell seed to customers. Government agencies purchase 75% of the seed. Cover crop species, Gmelina arborea, Tectona grandis and Leucaena leucocephala account for the 85% of the total seed sold. In general seed collection practices are poor, indicating a negative impact on seed quality. Fortunately, the sheer volume of seed collected in Wonogiri-Ponorogo assures that it comes from a large number of unrelated trees over widely dispersed locations. Simple seed collection guidelines would help farmer improve their seed collection practices and the genetic quality of seed collected. A commitment to seed quality by all agents and customers is required to make such guidelines functional and acceptable. Seed procurement and diffusion generate significant income for all seed agents. As the dominant agents who facilitate most of the activities and inputs required to move seed through the pathway from forest to customers, companies benefit the most. Based on the reported quantities of seed sold, companies’ and middlemen’s annual revenues are Rp 765 million to Rp 22 million (US $90,000 to $2600). These estimates must be adjusted by subtracting fixed costs, depreciation, extra-legal fees and non- payments (which occurs frequently), to obtain an estimate profits. Accurate records or estimates of these costs are not available. Farmers are the most numerous agent, an estimated 22,500 farmers are involved in seed collection activities annually. They earn incomes of Rp 795,000 to Rp 275,000 from seed collection annually, 66-33% of their 3-month dry-season income. Farmer families living near seed companies earn additional income by processing seed