Notes to broadcasters: Non-timber forest products and vegetative propagation

    | January 6, 2014

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    Farm Radio Weekly recently produced another story on okok. “Cameroon: Women earn income from forest foods without deforestation” (issue # 240, March 2013) is available through the FRW website at this address:

    It has accompanying Notes to broadcasters, which you can read here:

    In this week’s story, the farmer has been taught how to propagate (meaning “reproduce” or simply “grow”) okok vines vegetatively. Vegetative propagation uses cuttings of plant parts such as roots, stems and leaves, to produce new “seedlings” which are almost identical to the parent plants from which they came. This method of growing plants allows a farmer to establish a crop without growing plants from seed. It is appropriate for some but not all crops. Vegetative propagation is often quicker than planting seeds. Growers can be confident that they will produce plants with the same growth rate, disease resistance, yield and other characteristics which the parent plants displayed. For more information on vegetative propagation, go to:

    Successful propagation from stem cuttings requires the cuttings to be in an environment with high humidity. If planting only a few cuttings, you can use a plastic bag or gunny sack filled with soil. You can maintain high humidity by covering the bag or sack with clear plastic, which keeps in the water and allows light to reach the cuttings. The cuttings should not touch the plastic cover, as they can be damaged by the condensation that will form on the inside of the plastic. For larger planting areas, such as an old wooden box, the plastic can be kept away from the cuttings with wire or wood. It is important to remember to make drainage holes in the bags or boxes containing the soil. Moisture must be able to drain through the soil, or the development of the cuttings’ roots may be impaired.

    An easy-to-follow video is available on YouTube:

    An FAO guide to vegetative propagation is available through this link: