Study

The propagation of greater snowdrop Galanthus elwesii bulbs for the international horticultural market as an alternative to the unsustainable harvesting of wild bulbs in the villages of Dumlugoze, Kocasli and Daran, southern Turkey

  • Published source details Entwistle A., Atay S., Byfield A., & Oldfield S. (2002) Alternatives for the bulb trade from Turkey: a case study of indigenous bulb propagation. Oryx, 36, 333-341

Summary

In the mid-1980s, the harvesting of wild bulbs for the horticultural trade was particularly damaging to plant populations in the southern Torus Mountains, Turkey. Of the 60 million bulbs annually exported, over half were snowdrops Galanthus spp. The 10-year Indigenous Propagation Project, sought to provide an alternative source of snowdrop bulbs for the international market, taking into account local livelihoods, customer demands and regulatory legislation into account.

 

Project sites were located in the villages of Dumlugoze, Kocasli and Daran, where the local people were known to be involved in the wild bulb trade. Greater snowdrop Galanthus elwesii was selected for cultivation as it does not require advanced propagation techniques. In September-October 1993, 198 kg of G. elwessi bulbs were planted in crop free, tree-shaded areas within the vicinity of the villages. The number of villagers growing bulbs was initially seven. Those participating in the project were provided with horticulture training.
The first harvest took place in the late spring of 1996; and thereafter, every three years.

 

 

In the spring of 1996, 303 kg of bulbs were produced, increasing to 1,237 kg (c. 200,000 bulbs) in 2000, by which time over 250 villagers were involved in the project.
Bulbs were sold to the export company (that provided the initial planting material) at fair price, including a premium to acknowledge the conservation value of the propagated bulbs.
The project showed that these bulbs can be successfully propagated by villagers for the international market, as well as meet CITES criteria for artificial propagation of plant species. The sale of bulbs has proved an important income source for those villagers involved, and artificial propagation has been widely accepted as preferable to wild harvesting. Feedback from customers noted that bulbs were more likely to be pest-free and grew better in gardens than those from originating from wild-harvested plants.

Note: If using or referring to this published study, please read and quote the original paper, the abstract of which can be viewed at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=133877

 

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read latest volume: Volume 17

Go to the CE Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust