Cultivation And Production Of Oil Palm In Agriculture

Family name: Palmate
Oil palm is a native of West Africa. It is mainly produced in Edo, cross river, Delta, Ogun,Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Imo etc.
Botanical name: (Eleazis guinensis)
VARIETIES
1.   Dura: It has a thin mesocarp, thick endocarp with large kernel
2.   Tenera: It has thick mesocarp, thin endocarp and a medium sized kernel
3.   Pisifera: it has thick mesocarp, endocarp and small kernel

SOIL AND CLIMATE REQUIREMENT
Soil: Oil palm requires deep loamy soil that is rich in humus and plant nutrient. This soil must be slightly acidic with PH 4.5 – 6.0.
Climate:  Oil palm requires temperature about 270c- 320c and rainfall of about 150cm – 400cm and must be evenly distributed.
LAND PREPARATION
The land preparation is clear, plough and harrow to make it ready for planting.
METHOD OF PROPAGATION
          Oil palm is mainly propagated sexually i.e. by seed, only seeds are raised into seedlings.
Transplanting is carried out 9 months after planting in the nursery. There are two methods:-
1.   Ball of earth
2.   Naked root
Planting Date: Transplanting of oil palm begins at the beginning of raining seasons i.e. from March-may/June.
CULTURAL PRACTICES
1.   Mulching
2.   Watering
3.   Pruning
4.   Planting of leguminous crops
5.   Control of pest and diseases
6.   Manuring or application of fertilizer   

Weeding:  Weeding is done mechanically or manual. It can also be done chemically by using spray.
MATURITY
Oil palm may start to bear fruit 2-4 years after plating especially the new varieties and there are some that can take 3-7 years depending on the varieties.
HARVESTING
Oil palm can be harvested as soon as the fruit is ripe. It is done by using cutlass, axe and sickle.
PROCESSING OF PALM OIL
This must be done with minimum delay, processing involve the following steps.
1.   Removal of the fruits from the bunch: The removal is known as striping.
2.   Sterilization: This is the boiling of the fruits so as to make for easy extraction. It also helps to kill microorganism and pathogens that may be present. It also helps to step a chising of the enzyme lipid whose activity when allowed to contribute result in more formation of free fatty acid (F.F.A). Sterilization can be done in drum.
3.   Milling: This is the pounding of the fruits and the purpose is to separate the mescocrap from the shell.
4.   Separation: This is the removal of kernel from the pounded mass or mesocarp
5.   Extraction: The pounded mass is loaded into the press for oil extraction. If it is too dry add water to the mass. There are various types of press which include:
A.   Hydraulic press
B.Centrifugal press
6.   Clarification: The extracted oil is separated from water by boiling. frying is done after clarification so as to explore or dry out the water present
7.   Classification:
Soft oil: It has low free fatty acids
Hard oil: it has high free fatty acid
Special oil: It has no trace of free fatty acid
The amount of FFA in any class of oil depends on:
Method of processing
Harvesting/processing
8.   Carotene:  This is responsible for the yellow colourization of oil. This carotene are not present in groundnut therefore types of carotene present in oil
a.    Alpha carotene
b.   Beta carotene
c.    Gamma carotene
9.       Use of Oil Palm
a.    Palm kernel: Two main products are obtained from palm kernel. They are Palm Kernel oil and Palm Kernel Cake.
b.   Palm wine: Contains yeast
c.    Palm frond: For making shed
d.   Bunch refuse: Soap making fuel  
It can be used as food for making margarine
It is used in shell industries lubricant
Palm kernel oil (PKO)
Palm kernel milk (PKM)  

ESSENTIAL PRECAUTIONS IN PROCESSING
a.    Don’t wound the fruit during harvesting, during transporting into the mill.
b.   Fruit must be harvested immediately they are ripe
c.    There should be minimum interval between ripping and harvesting
d.   The processing method must ensure that material remain a high temperature to be inactive. They are inactivated at 600c
e.    Processed oil must be stored in clean, dry and sterilized containers.

Diseases and pests
1.   Brown germ disease: This is the most common diseases of oil palm
Symptom: Brown spots appear and spread on tissues of the plants, the affected tissue become sliming and get rot fast.
2.   Anthrocrose: The disease  is caused by
Symptom: Black rectrotic:- condition of the leaves. It is usually in the nursery and pre-nursery disease.
All the fungi causing diseases are always weakly parasite are:
Control: Adequate sanitation
Pests
1.   Rodent
2.   Grasshopper
3.   Cricket
4.   Termites
5.   Abbles
6.   Man
FIBRE CROPS
Fibre crops are second important to food crops. They form an integral part of national economy. 

Fibre crops include, jute, cotton, sisal, kenaf, cotton and flex. 


There are two major categories of fibres which are:-
1.   Natural fibre
2.   Synthetic fibre

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