dami research centre
Since the 1970s, NBPOL has led the way in palm oil research and development (R&D). Our Dami Research Centre is one of the world’s leading seed production units, providing planting materials and technical services for our operations and global customers.
Since its inception, our R&D teams have developed yield improvements and extraction rates as a crucial way of driving growth and meeting increased global palm oil demand.
Technical services were initially established to assist NBPOL fast track projects with a high degree of scientific input – from the development stage to the working environment. It has since grown into a four-discipline service provider. Our interdisciplinary objectives equip plantation managers with tools and information for improved sustainable management and production of palm oil.
Our biotechnology services focus on cloning elite breeding palms in order to produce bi-clonal seed to assist in seed production. Tissue is extracted, using a technique called clonal micropropagation, from the flowers of the donor palm; this is used as starter material. No genetic modification occurs during this process.
Using GIS technologies, precision agriculture provides GIS mapping services to integrate with our proprietary database: the Oil Palm Management Programme (OMP). The OMP database management tool is used to map the health status and track the harvesting progress of all individual palms.
Our agronomy services advise clients on soils, climate, foliar nutrient status, and other relevant agronomic data to support sustainable palm oil management using our OMP database. Site specific information allows for more efficient use and effective application of fertiliser, pesticide and palm management. NBPOL agronomy services also advises on organic recycling initiatives and the development of zero-discharge technology at the mill.
NBPOL advises and implements a robust environmental management system using the ISO 14001 system as a framework. NBPOL also provides auditing services to ensure compliance and mapping of environmentally fragile areas.
Dami oil palm breeding programme primarily focuses on producing planting materials with high early yields and exceptional oil extraction rates, and with reduced vegetative vigour. In addition, we are also spearheading research in breeding planting materials with special traits, such as tolerance to drought, nutrient deficiencies and Ganoderma stem rot.
Supporting the country’s oil palm research
Our team also helps manage the country’s Oil Palm Research Association (PNGOPRA), the research arm of Papua New Guinea’s oil palm industry. The organisation is membership-led and researches agronomy, entomology, plant pathology, smallholders, and socioeconomics. PNGOPRA gives recommendations and technical help for developing sustainable oil palm practices. It also assists milling companies and associated smallholder farmers in responsible agricultural management. NBPOL’s head of R&D is also PNGOPRA’s director of research. Its research is operated at Dami with substations throughout the country. Consequently, NBPOL and PNGOPRA’s research work is primarily interlinked.