Dr Adeshola Adepoju, the Executive Director, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan has reiterated the commitment of the institute to intensify research on mandate trees for better production in 2019.
Adepoju, who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Friday, however, stressed for the commitment would be facilitated with adequate government funding and support of the private sector.
“If we are adequately supported and funded, there will be expansion of herbal gene bank and development of more herbal drugs for treatment of common tropical ailments, through biomedicinal research, “he said.
He said FRIN would intensify research activities through multiplication of endangered and almost extinct tree species of economic importance, through modern plant breeding and genetics technology.
The executive director said the institute intended to mass produce tree species through the resuscitated three lines of seedling production: seed line, vegetative line and biotechnological line.
“Further research will be carried out on soil nutrient availability and its physical properties which will match the establishment of selected tree species in various localities.
“More plants will be collected from Forest Herbarium (FHI) to add to the over 150,000 plants specimen, to retain its status as the largest herbarium in West Africa and to continue to play the role of National Herbarium.
“FRIN will continue to develop innovative process technology for effective waste management; more research focus will be on environmental management, climate change monitoring, mitigation and adaptation.”
According to Adepoju, there will also be intensification of extension outreach for proper adoption of FRIN technologies by the stakeholders.
He said the institute was geared toward amplifying research on biodiversity (flora and fauna).
The executive director said in 2018, FRIN made research breakthrough in tree breeding and genetics by reducing the gestation period of 7 years to 5 years of some indigenous economic tree species.
Such trees he said include: Vitellaria paradoxa (Shea butter tree) and Garcinia kola (bitter kola), Irvinga wombulu, Irvinga gabonensis(Bush mango).
He said soil research activities were carried out over the years, to determine soil nutrients availability and the physical properties of soil that matched the establishment of selected tree species within the particular locality meant to be planted up.
“FRIN has developed an innovative process technology which converts wood wastes, principally saw dust and wood shavings, into decorative phase ceiling boards, flour and wall tiles.
“Due to the rapid loss of biodiversity globally, FRIN is focusing research on conservation and domestication of the rare, threatened and critically endangered Flora and Fauna species.“
He said the research has been identified by International Union for conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Adepoju, however, identified one of the challenges confronting FRIN as low appreciation of its critical mandates in the sustainable environmental management by the Nigerian populace in the rural areas.
He said the challenge was also that the rate of deforestation and adverse climate change issues were more rapid than the material wherewithal FRIN could ameliorate, among others.
“If the challenges are addressed, we are adequately supported and funded by the government and relevant stakeholders, we will make more progress this year.(NAN)