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Since the foundation of the new China, administration of seeds and planting stocks of forest trees became institutionalized, the production of tree seeds and planting stocks have developed from small to large scale, and from simple to advanced techniques. Especially since the 3rd session of the 11th central plenary meeting of the Chinese Communist Party, with deepening reform, continuous social and economic development and attention to ecological environment by the government, China’s tree seed and planting stocks have witnessed a rapid development and significant achievements.

The status of production of tree seeds and planting stocks. Since the reform and opening up, the government has taken the work on tree seed and planting stock production as the infrastructure construction of forestry development and paid great attention to it. In 1991, the Ministry of Forestry issued “the decision on further strengthening the work on tree seeds and planting stocks”, requesting all levels of forestry competent authorities to put great efforts to the work on tree seeds and planting stocks. Since 1998, in order to secure the supply of seeds and planting stocks to the 6 major forestry programs, a nation-wide tree seed and planting stock production program was started. By the end of 2004, the State Forestry Administration, the State Reform and Development Commission and various provincial (autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government) reform and development commissions have approved 3,367 various types of projects on tree seeds and planting stocks, of which 2,411 projects were approved by the State Forestry Administration and the State Reform and Development Commission, and 956 projects were approved by provincial reform and development commissions. The total investment of the approved projects comes to RMB 6.444 billion, of which RMB 5.047 billion were approved by the State Forestry Administration and the State Reform and Development Commission (including RMB 3.776 billion invested by the central government and RMB 1.271 billion by local counterpart funds), from provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government) and RMB 1.397 billion were approved by provincial (regional, municipal) reform and development commissions. Up to the end of 2004, the central government invested an accumulative total of RMB 3.877 billion through the State Loan, 3,148 projects on tree seeds and planting stocks were commenced successively, including 2 national bases for demonstration of tree seed and planting stock production, .31 provincial bases for demonstration of tree seed and planting stock production, 23 centers for breeding and propagation of improved species, 622 bases for production of improved species, 617 bases for seed collection, 1,711 nurseries, 1 project of genetic resource conservation, 3 projects of seed processing and treatment, 42 provincial infrastructure projects of tree seeds and planting stocks, and 96 prefecture and county infrastructure projects of tree seeds and planting stocks). In 2004, the State Forestry Administration issued “advice on accelerating the development of tree seeds and planting stocks”, pointing out the direction for further reform and development of tree seeds and planting stocks. Up to 2004, in whole China, there were 0.177 million ha of production bases of improved species, 1.111 million ha of seed collection bases, 0.578 million ha of young tree stocks, the capacity of annual seed production reached 26.35 million kg, and the total production of planting stocks was 48.18 trees. The proportions of supplying and using improved species of the bases were 37% and 43% respectively.

Institutions of tree seeds and planting stocks. Since the setting up of the administration of tree seeds and planting stocks by the Ministry of Forestry in 1979, 31 provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government), 295 prefectures (municipalities) and 1,569 counties (municipalities) have set up administrative institutions of tree seeds and planting stocks, employing a total of 10,298 persons. A relatively complete administrative network with a 3-level hierarchy of ministry, provinces and counties and with effective operation was formed. In 1982, the Ministry of Forestry established the south and north centers for tree seed testing. Since then 27 provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government) and 77 prefectures (municipalities) sooner or later established institutions for monitoring and testing the quality of tree seeds, nearly 1,000 tree seed testing laboratories have been set up, 7,920 seed testing staffs have obtained qualification for seed testing.

Significant increase of technological applications in production of tree seeds and planting stocks. During 50 years of selection and breeding, more than 1,600 superior families and clones were obtained, technologies such as tissue culture, chemical weeding, open mist system for cutting propagation, ABT rooting powder, water saving irrigation etc. In order to safeguard the quality of improved planting materials under extension, standardize the procedures for certification, demonstration and extension of improved species, since the issuance of the “rules for certification of major improved forest species/varieties” in 2003, the State Forestry Administration has set up a national committee for certification of improved tree species/varieties, 26 provinces (autonomous regions) have set up provincial committee for certification of improved tree species/varieties, a total of more than1,600 improved species/varieties have been certified, of which 117 improved species/varieties have been certified (pre-certified) by the State Forestry Administration.

Increased improvement of regulations and standards for tree seeds and planting stocks. In addition to the “Seed law of the People’s Republic of China”, 9 sectoral regulations and 29 national standards, 2 sectoral standards and 158 local standards have been enforced, covering collection of genetic resources, introduction, selection and breeding, propagation, products quality and quality testing methods, storage and circulation. A licensing system has been implemented for tree seed production, 0.112 million licenses for tree seed production have been issued across the country, of which 44 licenses have been directly issued by the State Forestry Administration.

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