Used in making great soups like, Equsi, Ogbonu, and in its raw form Gbanga.
Red oil starts its journey to your plate (and to your stomach) from a humble gathering of palm fruit bunch planted, grown, harvested and milled in palm plantation ’That simple’.
I am usually surprised, by how many people focus on one aspect of the N57 Billion business, when there are a lot of areas where one can get involved in and make more money.
Now let’s break it down.
(Please note this is where you need your thinking caps on.)
To make a tangible profit from growing palm trees you need a lot of land, I am not talking your measly 2 plots or 1 acre I am talking hectares you need at least 55 plots or 10 acres or 4 Hectares.
In some areas of Ogun, Osun and Oyo state, you can get a plot of land at 60k or lease plots at a far cheaper rate per year. Better still if you are from the eastern part of the country, you can buy or lease large expanses of land for cheaper.
Before you buy, please meet with the village or community head of the area the land is located. They will easily tell which lands and which families, to meet that will be willing to help, plus they can help you arrange better agreements. Note, all this comes at a price.
When planting, it is better to look for palm seeds that produce the best yield. There are various seeds you can begin with, Studies done by researchers on the Tenera variety of palm, have shown that for a mature palm tree, can produce between 30 and 40 litres of red oil in a year. So if you are looking at producing 40,000 Litre of red oil a year, you need between 1000-5000 mature health palm trees
Palm trees require adequate spacing and growth time of 5 years upwards, to achieve a yield of 30- 40 Litres of Red oil per tree. The adequate spacing between each tree, is usually between 20 and 29 feet. Any lower than 15 feet and each tree, will compete with the other for its nutrients.
When they mature, the palm fronds will be too close together. This will eventually lead to lower yields. It is during this stage of growth that a lot of time, money and effort, poured into nurturing the palm trees to maturity.
This is the period where you will need to hire workers, to protect and nurture the budding palm trees. They will clear its surroundings, water the plants regularly and protect the plants from rodents (Bush cutters), who are notorious for digging up and eating the young trees. Workers paid per month or per each job. Wages range between N8000-N14,000 per month, in some case are far less than than.
HARVESTING AND MILLING
The trees begin to mature and fruit, in their Late Fourth and Early Fifth year. Mature palm trees are harvested year round. When harvesting there are two ways to go, manually or mechanically. Once harvested, the fruits are separated from the fronds, again this can be done manually or mechanically. Milling is done with the aid of a press, where palm fruits are poured in to a drum and two or more people, manually operate a press to extract red oil.
The red oil extracted is poured in a barrel, drum or container which is stored and ready to ship to markets across the country.
Now, if you still thinking of only focusing on the supply area of palm oil production. Think again, below are more areas you can get involved in.
· Growing and selling of palm seeds (Seed Nursery.)
· Planning and spacing and stacking for palm trees
· Growth management: This involves hiring worker, planting, irrigation, weeding and harvesting.
· Milling and oil extraction.
· Supply of Red oil.
Each of the above is a million Naira industry that someone else is tapping into.
You will notice that there is a lot of areas you can get into to get started. Some of these areas require more capital and resources than the other.
As we go on in this blog, we will tell you more about how to get started in each area.
If you feel there is a part we are not covering or that we seem not to have adequate information. let us know via the comment section below