- Over twenty Raphia varieties have been identified, and characterised.
- Improved high wine yielding and long-fibre Raphia hookeri variety have been selected. This improved variety
– flowers 4-5 years after planting and
– yields between 1,500-2,000 litre of palm wine per palm per one terminal tapping
Impact:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The Raphia palm wine is a good source of both industrial and potable alcohol. The trunk and the leaf components of this palm produce long fibre for the manufacture of pulp and paper.
Agronomy, Soils and Crop Protection
- Nursery techniques for raising healthy Raphia seedlings have been worked out
- Procedures for field planting of Raphia have been worked out.
- Soils supporting Raphia have been characterized
- Nutrient partitioning in Raphia has been elucidated as a basis for nutritional management of the crop.
Â Research at NIFOR has demonstrated the potential of raphia seed oil as a source of bio-diesel.
- NIFOR has developed a reliable technique for preservation and bottling of palm wine. The bottled palm wine has a guaranteed shelf life of 12 months. The complete set of equipment for preserving and bottling are designed and fabricated in NIFOR and sold on order to prospective members of the public.
Impact:Â Â Â Palm wine ferments and losses its quality very rapidly under ambient conditions. The technique for preservation and bottling has solved the problem of rapid deterioration of palm wine. The bottled palm wine has alcohol and sugar content of 2% and 8% respectively. The product is now widely available in the Nigerian market and is also exported by private entrepreneurs.
Palm wine bottling adds value to tapped palm wine sap, and provides a convenient way of marketing the product. As a cottage industry, it provides employment for rural people and guarantees higher price for palm wine, which would otherwise have been wasted.