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How to Get Started with a Palm Kernel Farm in Nigeria

Palm Kernel farming in Nigeria

One of the most beneficial plants in the planet is the Red Palm Oil Tree Plantation. For forever, people have been extracting edible and useful red oil from red oil palm fruit all throughout the world. The palm tree is very helpful; everything from the fruit to the fronds is used for something that benefits man.

Palm oil exports supports the economy of so many countries. As a result, the country has become a major player in the palm oil sector.

So many people claim that Malaysia obtained palm fruit from Nigeria, if this is correct has yet to be determined.

Presently, in Nigeria, this is a thriving agricultural sector..  this shows us that the amount of revenue in the palm oil production industry is large.

Because it possesses low cholesterol level, palm oil is the best cooking oil on the planet. It is derived from the seed of the oil palm fruit ‘Elaeis guineensis,’ and palm kernel oil is derived from the same oil palm fruit’s seed. It is a very heart-healthy oil even more than vegetable oil also known as ‘ororo’.

If one establishes a palm oil tree plantation it will take the tree 3 or 4 years to produce after it has been planted. During that period the planter must spend money and work hard, without harvesting any fruit or earning any money, To make a modern oil palm plantation takes money.

One should go about starting a palm oil farm with these steps:

Palm Kernel farming in Nigeria
Palm Kernel farming in Nigeria

Search for a good piece of Land

Nigeria possesses a lot of arable acres of land for palm tree survival and productivity particularly in the west and east, Firstly get a piece of land in acres in a desirable area where there is access to transportation especially for lorries and tractors.

Oil palm is a tropical plant species. It thrives on high rainfall, adequate sunlight and humid conditions, It is trite rule that oil palms can be grown on wide range of soils. However, they are most viable in well- drained deep loamy moist and alluvial soils rich in organic matter. Farmers should avoid highly salty or sandy soils.

The land should be free of weeds, ploughing should be administered on the land, the major purpose of ploughing is to turn over the uppermost soil, bringing fresh nutrients to the surface while burying weeds and crop remains to decay.

Hard roots should be removed in order to make the soil suitable for growing palm seedlings.

You must first prepare the palm nursery before the ground. You can either sprout your own seeds or purchase seedlings that have already germinated.

It will take more years for the seeds to germinate if they are not properly cared for. The seeds are kept in an extremely heated atmosphere to help them germinate quickly. The seeds will germinate in 90 to 100 days as a result of this.

You place the seeds in a tiny plastic container with black loam manured oil once they have germinated. Every month, they will sprout a new leaf. The immature seedlings will spend 4 to 5 months in the container. When the seedling begins to bring out new leaf with two points (bifid leaf) you start transplanting to the nursery.

The seedlings will spend a year at the nursery. They should develop about 15 green leaves by then. Finally, you plant them in your farmland that has been prepared. It will take 15 to 17 months for the seedlings to be transplanted into the farm as a whole.

Alternatively, you may just go and purchase already prepared seedlings at very affordable rates..while growing your own seedling is less expensive, it takes time.

Putting Your Seedlings in the Ground

Your palm should be planted during the rainy season, when there is adequate water in the soil to support the young palm. Plant with suitable spacing in mind, taking into account the mature period when the palm fronds will be dispersed throughout the area. You may also need extra labor as the work would be a lot.

Palm Kernel farming in Nigeria
Palm Kernel farming in Nigeria

Spacing Palm Oil Tree Plantation

The recommended planting distance culled from the FAO modern oil palm cultivation (1990) is 9 M between the pegs which is eventually the distance between the palms on the field and 7.8-8M between the rows. Therefore, approximately 60 palms to an acre which works out to be 150 palms per Hectare, you must correctly peg out the area before planting to ensure the proper density. The space between rows must be the same, as well as the distance between oil palms within each row. The roots of the oil palms will get in each other’s way if they are planted too close together, and the leaves will not get enough air and sun, resulting in a low yield. If the oil palms aren’t placed close enough together, each tree produces a lot, but the roots don’t use all of the soil, thus the yield per tree is low.

How to peg out the planting pattern

Trace lines across the slope and put in your pegs in straight lines; leave 7.8 meters between rows and 9 metres between pegs.

In this way you can plant 143 oil palms per hectare; this is the best density.

Pull out tree stumps and remove fallen trees close to the pegs, because these stumps and trees would interfere with the oil palms.

The right time to apply fertilizers is near the end of the rainy season.

The recommended dose of fertilizers for each plant is: 250 to 500 grammes of ammonium sulfate and 250 grammes of potassium chloride.

Spread the fertilizers in a ring underneath the longest leaves.

After you have spread the fertilizer, cover it with a little earth. If there is a mulch around the seedlings, remove the mulch before applying the fertilizer. Afterwards spread a fresh mulch of dry herbage.

Once all this is done all you need do is to wait until the tree matures and starts producing, all your hardwork will pay off immensely.

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