The excitement of the fellow research member of Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) was clearly visible to all participants when she delivered her lecture on a discovery made by her team which promises to break the deadlock on palm oil yield, which has been stagnated for many years now.
When that happens, palm oil production in Malaysia is set to expand again. The discovery involves the identification of a single gene, called Shell, which is responsible for increasing the plant’s oil yield.
For decades now, palm oil is a source of nearly one half of the supply of edible vegetable oil worldwide. According to the MPOB spokesperson, "The discovery will have a significant impact on the Malaysian economy because for every one per cent increase in palm oil yields, Malaysia gains RM1 billion (US$330) in income".
With the expected 30 per cent improvement in yield, the palm oil will continue to widen its lead in productivity over other competing oils.
Major highlights on this discovery along with some relevant comments that had been made are as follows:
The researchers also hope their public release of the genome will allow other scientists to pinpoint more genes that might be useful for improving oil palm trees, such as resisting drought and diseases.
Genome driven improvements to oil palm trees could allow farmers to produce more oil on less land.
The genome will help to achieve sustainability for biofuels and edible oils, reducing the rainforest footprint of this tropical plantation crop.
According to a spokesperson, "The only way that we will be able to feed the projected human population of nine to ten billion without huge waves of deforestation is through increases in crop yield."
Hoping the above discovery would also be of immense help for all those connected with Indian Agriculture for bettering the yields of different crops including those meant for bio fuels and edible oils.