Oil Palm Research Institute
The Oil Palm Research Institute (OPRI) of Ghana is one of the 13 Institutes of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It is located at Kusi in the Eastern Region of Ghana. OPRI then a Centre, was set up in 1964 to take over the functions of the West Africa Institute for Oil Palm Research (WAIFOR) after WAIFOR’s dissolution.
WAIFOR then was responsible for provision of palm planting materials and research support to the Anglophone countries. The Oil Palm Research Institute (OPRI) was established as a division of the Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It gained autonomy from CRI in 1979 and became a full-fledged Institute in 1988.
In 1992, the Oil Palm Research Institute was additionally mandated to carry out research into coconut in general and Cape St. Paul’s Wilt Disease (CSPWD) in particular. The OPRI thus carries out research on Oil Palm and Coconut and offers technical backstopping to the oil palm and coconut industries.
The Institute has the mandate for research on Oil Palm and Coconut and is tasked to conduct sustainable and demand driven research aimed at providing scientific and technological support for the development of the entire oil palm and coconut industries.
To become a center of excellence in oil palm and coconut research and a major supplier of improved planting materials of oil palm, coconut and relevant technologies in the sub-region.
To develop capabilities to generate marketable technologies for sustainable production of oil palm and coconut, and the efficient exploitation of the palm kernel and coconut oils through downstream processing and biomass utilization as well as development of technologies to manage wastes from oil palm and coconut industries.
The general objectives are:
To improve yield of oil palm and coconut through breeding
To improve cultural practices to maximize yields and enhance yield potentials in oil palm and coconut plantations through the development of land use efficiency and intensification strategies
To develop integrated pest and disease management strategies
To improve small scale semi-mechanized methods of processing palm, kernel and coconut oils
To commercialize the production of improved planting materials and aspects of it I.e. coconut pollen and seedlings, oil palm pre-heated and germinated seeds
To commercialize research findings and technologies developed through consultancy and training
To undertake research into downstream processing for value addition and to facilitate technology transfer where the technology already exists
To train and develop a highly professional human resource base to realize the vision/mission of the Institute.
The headquarters of CSIR-OPRI is at Kusi, near Kade in the Eastern Region where mainly oil palm research is undertaken. There is an outstation in Sekondi-Takoradi for Coconut Research.
The Institute operates two (2) commodity programmes, namely:
1. Oil Palm Research Programme (OPRP)
2. Coconut Research Programme (CRP)
The Institute has three (3) research/technical divisions and three (3) support divisions which are:
1. Crop Farming and Management Systems (Agronomy)
2. Crop Improvement (Breeding)
3. Crop Protection
4. Commercialization & Information
Research and Development Projects
Exploitation, collection, selection and improvement of oil palm for high yield and tolerance to drought, diseases and pests
Development, maintenance and evaluation of oil palm genetic resources for breeding and seed production
Development of sustainable weed management strategies for oil palm
Oil palm intercropped with food crops : development of fertilizer management strategies
Development of an integrated control programme for oil palm leaf miner and other pests
Etiology and control of blast and dry bud rot diseases of oil palm in Ghana
Studies into Fusarium wilt of oil palm
Cape Saint Paul Wilt Disease (CSPWD) epidemiology and vector studies
Development and evaluation of coconut progenies for high yield and tolerance to CSPWD
Devising methods of containing the CSPWD within the present boundaries
Development of sustainable permanent cropping systems for coconut
Soil fertility maintenance under oil palm and coconut
Control of the Oryctes beetle – the most important pest of coconut
Socio-economic studies in oil palm and coconut