The photo above shows Ficus racemosa and Ficus variegata seeds compared at the Sabah Ficus Germplasm Centre (SFGC) at Tabin in Sabah.
There are now many sites in Borneo growing native plants for reforestation projects using a wide variety of propagation techniques including cuttings, marcots and seeds. Figs are easy to grow and all techniques have their place. However for larger projects where many thousands of saplings are required, growing from seed has major cost advantages.
Advantages of growing figs from seeds;
(1) The low cost compensates for redundancy or failure to grow successfully after planting out. Failure is common with cuttings.
(2) Fig seeds are orthodox with low water content and so can be stored for several years and still remain viable.
(3) Seeds are easily transported between nurseries. Seeds can be collected anywhere in Borneo but planted locally.
(4) Seeds are more likely to retain genetic variety than locally sourced cuttings or marcots.
Below is an article by Dr Zainal Zaharu Zanuddin the site manager of the SFGC on the techniques used to collect, clean, store and grow figs seeds at SFGC.