The Palm Kernel is an awesome product extracted after Palm oil has been extracted from the Palm fruits. Processing of the Palm Kernel nuts gives Palm kernel oil, a reddish thick liquid substance used at home for cooking and as an additive for industrial processes. It is scientifically called Elaeis guineensis.
Besides the Palm Kernel oil, the chaff gotten by cracking the Palm kernel shell can be used for animal feed production, fertilizer production or as a fuel for cooking. Hence, the Palm Kernel serves several useful purposes which is why farming it can never be seen as a waste of time.
The raw material used in making the Palm kernel oil (i.e., the palm kernel cake) is a product that is in high demand right now. So, I recommend this as a good business idea to invest in if you are looking for something to venture into.
In this article, I am going to discuss with you in details the steps to start palm kernel farming in Nigeria. I pray that you get to see the information shared here useful.
How to Start a Palm Kernel farm in Nigeria
1. Determine Your Production Scale
One of the major mistakes would-be farmers make is not determining at the early stage the kind of farming scale they will operate at.
You need to be sure of the kind of farming scale that you wish to operate. By that I mean do you want it to be a small scale venture, medium scale farming or large scale farming? Besides, are you in this for the money, to add value or as a side hubby?
Do you want to do this business long-term or is it just something that you want to do for the moment and discard after a few years? Being definite about this will assist you to determine the cost, profit and other business additives that can give you a 90% guarantee of a successful business at the end of the day.
2. Source for A Good Piece of Land
Remember, you are starting a farm. Hence, you should set out for a piece of land rich in essential nutrients for the crop’s optimal growth. Besides, the topography of the land is very important. Apart from this the land must not be water-logged as the plant would not do well on a water-logged piece of land. That being said, the land must be well-drained as the crop would need sufficient amount of water and nutrient to bear good fruits for harvest.
During the establishment of your Palm kernel farmland, you have to carefully survey and cross-checked the nooks and crannies of the farm and ensure that it is fit for the plant’s growth and development.
A good soil should be properly aerated to allow for the smooth and rapid flow of water and plant nutrient. So, look out for a parcel of land with the appropriate amount of clay, dirt, humus, and sand. These provide the macro and micronutrient needed by the crop for optimal growth.
One of the important factors is the soil. Soil is the outermost layer of the earth surface, formed from the composition of decaying organic matter and minerals. Soil is the basic and normal medium for plant growth.
The availability of soil is important and not just soil but soil with high nutrient and water capability as plant tap these water and nutrient to bear good fruits for harvest.
I have mentioned this already, I just want to emphasize it because it is important. So, another factor that you should put into consideration is the drainage pattern of the area you wish to set out your palm kernel farm.
It is not proper to carry out your farming activity in a water-logged land piece of land or in an area inclined to erosion. Erosion weakens the roots of the plant and carts away with the plant’s nutrient needed for survive of the plant. The Plant needs a well-drained soil to grow at an optimal rate.
A palm kernel production or cultivation will not go well with a soil heavy in clay content. Such a piece of land absorbs much moisture and repels the proper growth of the plant’s roots. This hinders the plant from growing optimally.
Topography or the layout of the farmland is a very essential factor in choosing a farm for palm kernel production.
The quantity of water in the soil and the rate at which they are transported are also being affected by the shape of the soil. A sloppy area will help bring about erosion and soil fragmentation.
A table land keeps the entire planting land at risk to different environmental factors like the erosion and the delays in soil formation. Hence, you should avoid such a piece of land for your palm kernel farming.
Another factor to be put in consideration when choosing a good farmland for palm kernel farming is the climate changes of the area. Climate is one big factor when it comes to the choice of farmland. It includes the rate of rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, wind distribution in the area. The sunshine and relative humidity also form part of the climate of an area.
Also, the amount of rainfall will also determine the kind of soil that will be formed. For example palm kernel seeds strive well in areas where rainfall is about 1520-1770 mm.
Most palm kernel seeds grow optimally under a temperature of 38-40 degree Celsius. Hence, the part which temperature plays in the growth and development of your palm kernel farm cannot be over-emphasized. So, go for a piece of land with this distribution of weather/climatic condition.
In areas where it’s too windy, the oil palm plant’s growth will be hindered or stunted because the soil materials needed for plant growth will be carried from one location to the other thereby distorting the nutrient content of the soil.
Also, sunshine will speed up photosynthesis in the plant and maximize the temperature of a place. Unavailability of sufficient sunshine is tantamount to the growth and development of the plants and should be avoided.
3. Source For, and Grow Viable Seeds:
For you to get a fruitful harvest, getting viable oil palm seed for planting is the key. High-quality oil palm seeds would grow rapidly into healthy oil palms with good root system, give quality oil and other oil palm post-production extracts. It will also help in the growth of the plant in a uniform style and make for early maturity.
4. Get Necessary Financing for Your Farm
Finance in key to the starting and survival of every business. As it applies to other businesses so does it apply to the palm kernel business. Before going into this business, make sure that you have a good and credible source of income which you can rely on. With this, you will be able to plan ahead on how to manage and sustain the business.
You can source for your capital from Savings (a.k.a. Self-financing). You can also borrow or take a loan from a Commercial bank, National Directorate of Employment, Co-operative societies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Debentures, Private Money Lenders, Commodity Merchant /Traders, and Thrift and Savings Society.
I have tried my best to detail the investment plan for this business to my best understanding. I hope that you found this article useful in your quest to start a palm kernel farm in Nigeria. If yes, kindly let me know in the comments section and also indicate if you need further help in this regard.