Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 1 No. 1 1989 June, p. 1-10 RAJANAIDU, N
This paper outlines the use of the oil palm germplasm in oil palm breeding and improvement. A large amount of genetic material was collected in Africa and Central-South America. The material collected in Nigeria was evaluated in the field and the elite palms selected could yield oil up to 10-12 tonnes ha-1 yr-1 which is twice the current yield of 5 – 6 tonnes. These high yielding palms are also short with a height increment of only 20-25 cm yr-1 as compared to 45-75 cm yr-1 with the current planting material. The dwarf palms could reduce the cost of harvesting and at same time prolong the replanting cycle.
There is considerable variation for fatty acid composition in the Nigerian collection. A number of palms had oil with an iodine value (I.V.) exceeding 60. With additional fractionation of this oil, the olein should attain an I.V. close to 70. With this I.V. it would be possible to market palm olein as salad oil in countries with a cold climate.
The Nigerian palms with high yield, dwarf and high I.V. are being used to initiate entirely new breeding populations to produce planting material for high I.V by 1995.
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