– Palm Oil Business in Nigeria
Palm oil is gotten from palm tree. Palm tree is a special economic product in Nigeria in the sense that all its body parts are useful. The fruits, leaves, trunk, and sap are all useful.
The palm fronds (leaves) can be used for roofing homes in rural areas or for building shades in most part of Nigeria.
Palm sap commonly known as palm wine is a beverage for refreshment which is widely consumed in Nigeria.
The palm fruits itself contains an oil which can be processed into palm oil.
Benefits of palm oil to man (palm oil business in Nigeria)
Palm oil comes from the red palm fruits which is yellowish red or orange and it has the following benefits:
- Palm oil contains a lot of vitamins such as Vitamins ‘A’ essential for normal vision, to prevent night blindness, inflammation or dryness of the eye;
- The palm oil contains pure fat;
- It is also used to normalize high blood pressure;
- Palm oil is used to treat malaria;
- It is used to treat some brain diseases;
- Palm oil is alsi used to treat cancer. It reduces the rate at which the cancer cells grow;
- The Palm oil Slows down the aging process;
- It reduces high cholesterol;
- Palm oil serves as a remedy for weight loss;
- It neutralizes cyanide poisoning;
- Palm oil boost the body’s metabolism;
- It is a natural antioxidant;
- Palm oil is used for cooking and frying food;
- It is a good source of vitamin E, which promotes healthy skin;
- Palm oil is rich in carotene,which enhances vision;
- The palm oil doesn’t promote the accumulation cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins harmful to the body.
Aside the benefits listed above, palm oil can also be used for the production of other things.
For instance, it can be used to produce ice cream, butter, soaps, cosmetics and lotions for body care.
It is also used to make pharmaceutical products, chemicals used for water treatment, and production of fluids used during drilling of petroleum.
Palm oil business in Nigeria
There are two majo ways you can make a lot of money from palm oil business in Nigeria. They are;
1. Buying and reselling of palm oil;
2. Owning a palm oil plantation.
Buying and selling of Palm oil
To buy and sell palm oil, you need to take the following factors into consideration:
1. Amount of capital: Before you start a palm oil business, you need to have enough capital.
You can buy palm oil at a cheaper rate maybe in large quantity or otherwise; depending on your start up capital.
2. Storage space: After purchasing the palm oil, find a place to store and preserve them before you resell to customers.
First you need to acquire containers such as big blue barrels or 25/50 litres of small kegs that can be sealed and kept in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.
It takes about 8 to 10 kegs which is 20 litres of gallons to fill a barrel. The storage space could be right in your home.
Look for a suitable space or corner to keep the oil. If you do not want to keep them at home, then you can rent a store. The storage space must be dry and cool.
A very safe place where the palm oil will not be tampered with.
3. Time to acquire the palm oil: If you want to start this business you need to consider the time.
In this business, time is very essential in the sense that you will need to buy the oil in the right season because palm oil seems to be cheaper during this time.
The reason been that there is plenty of oil everywhere after harvest. Normally, the season is between February, March, April and May.
A liter of oil (25 litre) can be sold at a lesser price depending on the location.
In the late season when oil seem to be scarce between July to January 25 litres of oil is usually more expensive.
That’s why it is advisable to buy the oil in the right season.
4. Place to acquire the palm oil: In Nigeria, there are so many places you can buy the oil at cheaper rate especially from farmers.
There are some states in Nigeria where oil is in abundance and where you get quality oil.
You can get good palm oil from Imo state in places such as Ngor Okpala, Ihitte Uboma, Orlu and so on.
Other states where you can get palm oil from include: Edo state, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Abia state, Ondo state, Bayelsa State, Rivers state and Cross River.
5. Time of Sale: After some time as the season of palm oil fades and there are no more than enough oil in the market to sell.
The prices of oil during this period increase, but people will always buy oil because it is an essential ingredient for cooking.
So, no matter the price of oil people will always buy. The best time to sell your oil is when palm oil in the market is scarce.
You can sell your oil to food vendors or sell in wholesale to suppliers in the market. And also to manufacturing companies that uses palm oil to make other products.
6. Location: The area you set up your business will determine how many sales you will make.
Though, no matter where you display your palm oil business people will buy.
But in an area that is well populated such as a market more people will come to you, and the more people come, the more you sell.
Owning a palm oil plantation (palm oil business in Nigeria)
The second aspect of palm oil business is owning a oil palm plantation.
If you have been thinking of establishing a palm oil business, then you need to consider having palm oil plantation.
The good thing about owning an oil palm plantation is that all the body of a palm tree is useful and you can make money with them.
Things you need to consider before starting an oil palm plantation are;
1. Substantial Capital: Starting a palm oil plantation requires capital. Enough capital is needed to buy land, hire workers, buy seed and for maintaining the farm.
2. Farm Land: You need a farm land, so the first thing you need to think about is the size of your farm land.
The second thing is the money to buy the land and the third thing is the amount it will cost you to maintain the land on a long run.
As a starter you can acquire a cheap land in rural area only that you need land with enough space and in good environment.
For instance in West Africa the environment and climate is suitable for growing the oil palm tree. It has enough rainfall, enough sunlight and good soil which the plant needs to grow.
3. Soil Check: Acquiring a land is one thing, the other thing is to check the soil. Yes, checking the soil is very important.
It is better to check the nature of the soil before acquiring the land because the quality of the soil will determine how well your plants will grow.
If the soil is suitable, and you have acquired it, then you can prepare the soil (remove every weed, loosen the soil, make the ridges) for planting.
4. Location: Another thing to consider is the location of your oil plantation. Having an oil plantation shouldn’t be inside the bush or in an isolated area.
It should be a place with a good transport system (road access) where any form of a vehicle can pass through especially during harvest period.
5. Buying of palm seeds: After preparing the land, the next thing is to acquire the palm seeds to plant on the land.
The cost of the palm seeds may vary depending on the quantity of seeds to be planted which depends on the size of the land and the location of your plantation.
When planting the seeds leave a space of 8 to 9 meters between two plants so that they won’t be too clustered when grown.
6. Helping Hands: You will need few workers to help you in your plantation in the aspect of clearing the land and planting the seed.
You really can’t do it all on your own. The workers will also help you maintain the land as the plant grow.
When the plants mature and its time for harvest, the workers will help you to harvest the crops.
The workers can be part-time workers who would help you for some period then you pay them. This will make the business move faster than when you do it on your own.
7. Time of Growth: Oil plantation takes a maximum of two years to fully mature and harvest. Therefore, you need to be patient as the oil palm tree grows.
8. Harvest time: During harvest, the fruits on the palm tree are cut down and washed to remove unwanted particles.
9. Ways of processing: Two common methods are involved such as the traditional processing which has to do with pounding cooked/soaked palm fruits in large wooden or concrete mortars with a wooden pestle.
Another way is foot trampling the cooked but cold palm fruits in canoes or specially constructed wooden troughs.
The other way of getting the oil is by using a milling machine. You can acquire or rent milling machines (a machine used to process the palm kernel into oil).
It is preferable to purchase your own milling machine to process your oil palm yourself because it is more economical.
Unlike the traditional method of processing palm kernel, the milling machine produces more oil.
You can also make extra income by helping other farmers to process their oil palm.
10. Storage: When the oil is extracted you can store them in containers or barrels to be sold later in the market or supplied to customers on demand in wholesale or to manufacturing companies.
11. Transport: For your palm oil business to be a success, a vehicle must be available to convey the barrels of palm oil to different locations especially customers living in a far distance.
Most customers might order for a huge amount of oil from a far distance and the only way to deliver the goods to them is with the use of a vehicle.
With this information as your guide, you can plan your way and start a palm oil business.