The Federal Government recently mandated the Institute to undertake research on Shea in view of its growing economic importance and interest shown in Shea butter in foreign markets.Â Some key research themes have been identified in a five year development plan and work is commencing. Plans are also being made to establish a sub-station in Niger State.
Biotechnology & Tissue Culture
In addition to classical breeding procedures, NIFOR seeks to produce palms through biotechnology which provide specialty oils by the modification of the lipid content of storage tissues. In this respect the gene for one of the important enzymes in lipid synthesis, the thioesterase enzyme gene has been isolated from the oil palm kernel in collaborative work with a laboratory at the National University of Malaysia.
- The Institute has capacity for research in tissue culture techniques for rapid multiplication of planting materials.
- The Institute has perfected procedures for rapid and reliable multiplication of date palm through tissue culture. Procedures have also been developed for embryo rescue of coconut.