Oil palm farming is quite lucrative and profitable in Nigeria with the country ranking as one of the world’s major producers of oil palm back in the 20th century. Today, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Colombia have taken the lead, however, there is still a lot of profit to gain from this Agribusiness.
Like many starters, getting the land ready and planting is a tedious task that comes with many questions. Here, you will find all the right answers and some tips to help get you started.
How Many Oil Palm Trees for in 1 Acre in Nigeria?
According to experts, between 140 – 150 oil palm trees can be planted on 1 hectare of land. A hectare is equal to 2.471 acres which means you should plant between 55 – 60 oil palm trees in 1 acre. The final decision would depend on the type of land and the spacing system you go for
Before, you straight ahead to planting here are some tips that should help you produce a high yield.
Tips on Oil Palm Farming
If you’re going into the oil palm farming business, having enough capital is very important. This will not only determine the quality of your yield but the amount of profit you will gain. By economic standards, you shouldn’t be considering 1 acre or even 1 hectare of land for oil palm farming. To make enough profits, you should be looking towards 10 hectares. However, beginners can go ahead with setting up their farm on a small piece of land before building their way to large-scale commercial farming
On average, a hectare of palm fruit will produce an average of 2,000 litres. The value would depend on the economic conditions of the market but should be around #550,000 to #700,000.
Once, you’ve made the decision on the size of the land, then you need to check the properties of the land. Look out for well-drained and loosed sandy-loam soil rich in organic matter. To be sure of the nutrient content of the soil, you can carry out a soil test. You will need to survey the land, cut down shrubs and trees, and create pathways for vehicular movement.
Varieties of Palm Oil
You will come across Dura, Pisifera, and Tenara palm tree varieties. Out of all three, the Tenara variety has been shown to provide better yield especially when good management is applied. It would take up to 3 years for the oil palm to begin producing fruits. It should take about 4 years for the oil palms to produce fruits suitable for harvest. Once the first fruits are harvested, you can continue to harvest fruits from the oil palm for up to 30 years.
For starters, going for already germinated seeds from a known nursery would be the best option. When planting, take note of the space between the seeds. It is recommended that you stick to 9m by 9m so that the palm trees do not compete for space and nutrients as they grow which will reduce your yield.
When palm fruits are ready to be harvested, this is done every 10 days. You would have to use the right harvester to prevent damaging the bunch, fruits, and the tree. You should be able to get up to 20 metric tons of palm kernel oil from a hectare of land.
There is gain in the oil palm business, however, it won’t come immediately. The tree takes years to matures and produce ripe fruit. However, once you’re past the first harvesting process, you won’t have to start planting all over again. The same tree can produce more fruits and profit for more than 30 years.