In 1983, Univanich commenced a collaboration with the UK based Unilever Plantations and Plant Science Group. During the ensuing fifteen years the company’s Oil Palm Research Centre (OPRC) was established to carry out research into unique features of Thailand’s oil palm agronomy and in particular, into oil palm breeding for high yield and improved drought tolerance.
Today, the Univanich Oil palm Research Centre (OPRC) is internationally recognized for pioneering oil palm research and advanced palm breeding. Since 1983 Univanich has been producing the highest-yielding hybrid seeds for local and overseas oil palm growers. The company’s oil palm nurseries supply annually more than 1.5 million high yielding seedlings to Thailand’s smallholder growers, and our drought-tolerant hybrid seeds are now exported to oil palm growers in more than fifteen countries. In 2006, the company established Thailand’s first laboratory for oil palm tissue culture with an objective to clone the elite parent palms from the Univanich breeding programme. This long-term research is now coming to fruition with Thailand’s first plantings of high-yielding clones in 2010 and in 2016 the company produced Thailand’s first semi-clonal oil palm seeds. This latest advance in science should ensure the competitiveness of Thailand’s oil palm industry into future generations.