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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 4) - High-yielding oil-palm seeds bred at the Dami Oil Palm Research Station in West New Britain Province in Papua New Guinea are now distributed to many parts of the world.

Indonesia has also become a major customer of the seeds after being a major supplier of oil palm seeds to New Britain Palm Oil Limited.

Dami Research Station now exports 20 million seeds every year to worldwide customers and money raised has helped the station to be self-sustained.

Scientist with the station Frank Dumortier told participants of the second Kulim conference during a field trip to the station that selection of elite palms for seed production relies on the results obtained from progeny testing trials currently covering more than 1,000 hectares, both in Papua New Guinea and overseas.

"In most operations, the primary objective is to achieve high productivity in order to maintain low production cost," Mr. Dumortier said.

"The Dami breeding program aims to secure both short-term and long-term improvement of its planting material."

He said much effort had also been allocated to widening the genetic base of the Dami breeding populations.

"At Dami, efforts are made to produce, process and dispatch all seeds by identified progenies. This allows full trace ability of the seeds produced from individual parents," he said. "The availability of high-grade planting material is a key aspect for the sustainability of an oil-palm plantation company as it is for any agriculture industry. The genetic potential of the planting material will indeed determine the maximum product yield potential which the plantation industry will strive to achieve with minimum losses."

October 5, 2004

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier:


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