Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Fact Net Publications
for the Pacific: Fact Sheets
Links to more information on multipurpose trees and agroforestry
Calendar of events in forestry and agroforestry
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FACT Net: A lasting impact
FACT Net was an international network of community groups, development workers, tree breeders, researchers, students, and farmers. These 2,000 partners in 100 countries shared an interest in the use of multipurpose trees to improve the soil, protect the environment, and enhance the well-being of farm families and other land users. Through extension, communications, and research, FACT Net provided the skills and resources needed to introduce, improve, and manage multipurpose trees successfully.
FACT Net was created in 1995 with the assimilation of the Nitrogen Fixing Tree Association (NFTA) into Winrock International’s Forestry and Natural Resource Management Program. For over 15 years, NFTA provided the skills and resources necessary to use nitrogen fixing trees for sustainable agriculture and environmental protection to thousands of people worldwide.
FACT Net closed in 1999 after operating for almost 20 years as a successful international network. Winrock International's Forestry and Natural Resource Management Program maintains this web site as an on-line resource. FACT Net publications may be ordered from Winrock International.
Why multipurpose trees?
Farmers need to protect their land out of concern for the environment, and because it is their primary source of livelihood . . . today and tomorrow. In developing countries the land must feed farm families and their livestock, provide building material and fuel for cooking, and earn cash to buy whatever the farmers cannot grow themselves. With increasing population pressure in many areas, all these needs must be met from smaller and smaller land holdings. And as governments are forced to drop expensive subsidy programs, farmers must maintain the productivity of their fields with very little fertilizer, or none at all.
Multipurpose trees are grown to provide more than one significant product or service to the farmer. They can contribute to rehabilitating degraded land and stabilizing soil, while providing animal fodder, fuelwood, food, and income for farm families.
Some multipurpose trees have another special value—they “fix” nitrogen. Nitrogen is a key nutrient for growing plants, and it is in short supply in many soils. More than 650 tree species are known to have the capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen. These trees tend to be hardy “pioneer species” that grow well on poor or degraded sites, improving the soil for other plants.
FACT sheets on multipurpose trees. Aimed at extension agents, field researchers, community leaders, and farmers, these two-page summaries of current information are a handy reference for introducing promising multipurpose trees into research and planting programs. All FACT sheets are available in English. Select FACT sheets are also available in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Khmer, and Chinese.
Research Reports. The report series was a forum for short technical reports on research, extension, and production activities involving multipurpose trees.
Proceedings volumes and field manuals. FACT Net organized more than 20 workshops bringing together leading scientists and development specialists from around the world to discuss important multipurpose trees and related management systems. FACT Net published a proceedings volume and practical field manual from each workshop.
Seed sources. FACT Net compiled a directory of suppliers of high-quality seed of important multipurpose trees. Many suppliers in the directory provide small quantities of seed free for research and pilot extension or development projects.
Species screening trials. The network provided information on species, seed treatment, symbiotic micro-organisms, and research methodology. Network participants also shared their findings through FACT Net's regular publications.
Agroforestry practices slide show.
For information on FACT Net publications, please see the list of publications. Please send publication orders to:
FACT Net was a program of the Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development. Winrock is an autonomous, nonprofit organization whose activities are funded by grants and contributions from public and private sources.
Winrock International's mission: “working with people to build a better world - increasing agricultural productivity and rural employment while protecting the environment”.
Updated February, 2003 by Miriam Boroski