Libya is looking to date palm and olive crops – valuable trading commodities in the Mediterranean – as potential ways of supplementing its oil revenues. As part of this forward investment, the Libyan Date Palm and Olive Development and Improvement Corporation wanted to ensure it had enough ‘elite plant material’ to guarantee a steady flow of plants from their micro-propagation units near the Mediterranean coast.
Plant experts from the University of the West of England are helping to achieve this aim. Links between UWE and Libya began around eight years ago, and since then two MSc graduates from Al-Fateh University in Tripoli came to UWE to do their PhDs. They have now returned to teach at their home University.
This link led to a request for consultancy from the Libyan Date and Olive Palm Development and Improvement Corporation to determine ways of improving the quality of the plants produced in its micro-propagation unit.
Lesley Drake | alfa
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