Fumesua-Ashanti, March 08, GNA - The Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) has developed variety of techniques for the multiplication of Odum without relying on the natural reproduction of the specie from the forest. The techniques are leaf and root cuttings and tissue culture that are processed and nurtured to reproduce Odum seedlings.
Dr. Joseph Cobbinah, Director of the Institute who disclosed this, said apart from facilitating production of Odum seedlings, the new techniques would also ensure seedlings produced were resistant to pest infestation particularly "Phytolyma lata".
Dr. Cobbinah was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Fumesua on measures being undertaken by the institute and other research scientists, to ensure depletion of Odum was curtailed. He said the new techniques would complement natural means of reproducing Odum seedlings in the forest.
The FORIG Director said, "This research, which was sponsored by the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) of Japan had paved way for planting Odum as a plantation species."
He said already a "pilot mix plantation of Odum has been established at FORIG and SODEFOR in La Cote d'Ivoire." Dr. Cobbinah noted that without the new techniques of developing Odum seedlings, it would have suffered the risk of extinction in future. He said prior to the development of the new techniques by FORIG, all attempts to establish plantation of Odum was a failure because of damage caused to it by 'a gall-forming pest, known as Phytolyma Lata' which caused extensive damage to Odum.
Dr. Cobbinah said the quest of FORIG to salvage Odum from extinction enabled the institute to come out with the techniques that had the capacity to reproduce Odum seedlings that were resistant to Phytolyma lata pest infestation.