Are you interested in starting a palm oil plantation and you need advice on how to go about it? Do you need a sample palm oil plantation business plan template or feasibility study report? Then i advice you read on.
LOOK!!! There is currently a revolution going on in the agricultural industry, not only in Nigeria but all over the world. Food is an important necessity of life and the world governments cannot allow food shortage as it might lead to crisis. If there is any better time to start a business in the agriculture sector, that time is now.
Do you have an undeveloped land in a remote area, or you inherited a land that you know you will not be developing in the next ten years? Then this is the best time to turn that land into an income producing asset.
Why You Should Start a Palm Oil Plantation Today
The oil palm tree is one of the most useful trees ever known. Every part of the tree – from its fruit to its leaves and trunk, and to its sap – is used for one thing or the other. While the fruits are processed into palm oil and palm kernel oil, the fronds (leaves) are used for roofing houses in rural areas and camps, and the sap (palm wine) is a refreshing drink taken in many parts of Africa.
Palm oil is red in color and is used for domestic cooking in many countries. It is also used in the production of soaps and cosmetics, just like palm kernel oil, which is made from the same fruit.
If you live in a country like Nigeria, Ghana, etc; where red palm oil is in huge demand domestically and industrially, you can make huge profits by starting an oil palm plantation. Read on to find out what you need to know and do to start an oil palm plantation.
Starting a Palm Oil Plantation – Sample Business Plan Template
Oil palm plantation simply involves cultivating oil palm trees. When it is time to harvest, you will sell your palm fruits to manufacturers, who would process the fruits to produce red palm oil. After harvesting and selling, you will wait until the next harvesting season to sell again. This can continue for decades, which means an oil palm plantation can continue to fetch you huge income for several years to come.
What are the requirements for starting an oil palm plantation?
Though it may not sound like a business, due to the “plantation” tag. But the truth is that, an oil palm plantation is a business, and you should regard it as such. This means starting it requires the same input factors that other business require, which are land, labor, and capital. We will now discuss each of these factors.
Since you are starting an oil palm plantation, you will definitely need a large expanse of land. This can range from few plots to hectares of land, depending on what you are able to obtain.
The first important factor to consider when acquiring land for your oil palm plantation is the soil. Is it fertile? Would it be suitable for growing oil palm trees? If you are in doubt over the quality of the soil, then have it examined by experts. This is very important, for obvious reasons.
In addition, since your land will be your production factory, so to say, it must be located where buyers can easily assess it. Although you can easily find lands with good soils for oil palm cultivation, you should choose one that is motor-able, since most of your buyers will use large vehicles to convey oil palm fruits from the farm to the sites of processing.
After acquiring a piece of land, you will need to prepare it well for the plantation. It is highly recommended that you use tractors to pulverize and loosen the soil and remove hard roots in preparation for palm seeding.
Though you may not need to hire permanent staff, you will need to hire individuals to assist you with each stage involved in starting an oil palm plantation. For example, you will need to hire laborers or a tractor operator for the land clearing process. You will also need to hire laborers for the planting process. And each time you need to harvest, you will need to hire laborers to handle the task for you.
This refers to the money required to start the business. This includes the cost of acquiring land – either by buying or renting, the cost of hiring workers, the cost of maintaining the farm, and the cost of purchasing the seedlings that you will be starting with.
The Steps Involved…
Having discussed the requirements for starting an oil palm plantation, we will now look at the steps involved in starting an oil palm plantation.
- Acquire land and prepare it for the plantation
- Buy the seedlings that you will plant. Although you have the option of growing the seeds yourself, this takes time and you may end up with low yield seedlings. A seedling sells for N150 in Nigeria (about $1). You will need at least 1000 seedlings for a plantation of moderate size.
- Plant the seedling on the already prepared land. Ensure that there is adequate spacing between the plants. Without adequate spacing, the roots will interfere with each other, leading to limited growth and low yield. The best spacing is 8-9 meters between any two plants.
- Weed the farm and apply fertilizer to the plants at intervals. This interval varies with quality of the soil and the rate at which weeds grow around the plants. You will need to get an expert’s recommendation for this.
How long does it take to start harvesting?
Your first harvest will be around two years after planting your seedlings. So, if you have the capital and other requirements, now is the best time to invest into your future by starting an oil palm plantation.