Discovering the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN)
This trip aimed at helping students familiarize with the protocols and techniques used in laboratories, as CRIN is a National Institute with research mandate on Cocoa, Kola, Coffee, Cashew and Tea.
Students and their Prgramme Coordinator, Prof. Julius A. Fagbayide, were welcomed by CRIN Executive Director (the name?). He introduced the institute to visitors and they were taken to the different laboratory sections in the Institute.
Guided by Dr. Festus Olasupo, students discovered the molecular lab which comprises of a PCR room, a sample preparation room, an analysis room and a gel documentation room. This is where DNA is extracted and rapidly duplicated in large numbers.
The next stop was in the tissue culture lab, where the first cocoa tissue culture protocol was developed in the world. PAULESI students were taught how to regenerate a plant using tissue culture.
In the cocoa flavor lab where analysis and discovery of good cocoa flavor takes place for industries, students were demonstrated how cocoa beans are weighed, rusted, sorted and grinded into powder.
The visit ended at the plants nursery where grafting and budding are done and the plants are kept in the nursery with favorable conditions until they are ready for transplanting.
The trip was very educative and enlightening PAULESI students as they were introduced to the different units and the practical activities carried out in IITA related to their Plant Breeding courses.