Nidia Guzmán: example of professionalism in research

Nidia has dedicated most of her intellectual effort over the past 20 years to creating a unique technology for cloning oil palm. While other tissue culture programs struggled to maintain a line to obtain ramets from leaf (or root) tissues, Nidia stood firm in her attempt to clone this species from young inflorescences. Today, and after countless hours of work and multiple frustrations, the technology is mature and consolidated.

The cloning of superior compact palms (short leaves and trunks and high capacity to produce oil) promise to revolutionize the oil palm industry in the world and will make it possible to further open the agricultural frontier of the crop and improve land use, since the short leaves of these compact palms allow increasing the density of planting far above the conventional varieties with very long leaves and trunks.

Nidia is a dedicated, tireless worker, firmly convinced of the importance of her work and the potential of the material she works with. Thanks to her efforts, ASD now has a group of compact clones that have demonstrated their commercial potential in several hundred hectares in the field, planted mainly in Costa Rica. Many obstacles have arisen along the way, which have given Nidia headaches and have tested the mettle of this researcher, but her will and professionalism have allowed her to resolve them and keep going, always looking for the ideal clone that can proudly be offered to the international market.

ASD is grateful for this effort by Nidia, her dedication and achievements in the field of oil palm cloning and her undeniable contribution to this crop’s global industry.

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A daily scene: Nidia and her inseparable collaborator (Magaly Rosales) in the tissue culture laboratory sharing opinions about what was good (or bad) in this particular flask containing oil palm ramets.