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                                                               CHAPTER ONE



The African oil palm is native to tropical Africa, from Sierra Leone in the west through the Democratic Republic of Congo in the east. It was domesticated in its native range, probably in Nigeria, and moved throughout tropical Africa by humans who practiced shifting agriculture at least 5000 years ago. European explorers discovered the oil palm tree in the late 1400′s, and distributed it throughout the world during the slave trade period. In the early 1800s, the slave trade ended but British began trading with west Africans in ivory, lumber, and palm oil.  The oil palm was introduced to the Americas hundreds of years ago, where it became naturalized and associated with slave plantations, but did not become and industry of its own until the 1960s. The first plantations were established on Sumatra in 1911, and in 1917 in Malaysia. Oil palm plantations were established in tropical America and west Africa about this time, and in 2003, palm oil production equaled that of soybean, which had been the number one oil crop for many years. Elaeis guineensis is a species of palm commonly called African oil palm or macaw-fat. It is the principal source of palm oil. It is native to west and southwest Africa, specifically the area between Angola and the Gambia; the species name guineensis refers to the name for the area, Guinea, and not the modern country which now bears that name. The species is also now naturalised in Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Central America, the West Indies and several islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The closely related American oil palm Elaeis oleifera and a more distantly related palm, Attalea maripa, are also used to produce palm oil.

Human use of oil palms may date as far back as 5,000 years in West Africa; in the late 1800s, archaeologists discovered palm oil in a tomb at Abydos dating back to 3,000 BCE. It is thought that Arab traders brought the oil palm to Egypt.

The first western person to describe it and bring back seeds was the French naturalist Michel Adanson

For each hectare of oil palm, which is harvested year-round, the annual production averages 20 tonnes  of fruit yielding 4,000 kg of palm oil and 750 kg of seed kernels yielding 500 kg of high-quality palm kernel oil, as well as 600 kg of kernel meal. Kernel meal is processed for use as livestock feed.

All modern, commercial planting material consists of tenera palms or DxP hybrids, which are obtained by crossing thickshelled dura with shell-less pisifera. Although common commercial germinated seed is as thick-shelled as the dura mother palm, the resulting palm will produce thin-shelled tenera fruit. An alternative to germinated seed, once constraints to mass production are overcome, are tissue-cultured or "clonal" palms, which provide "true copies" of high-yielding DxP palms.

An oil palm nursery must have an uninterrupted supply of clean water and topsoil which is both well-structured and sufficiently deep to accommodate three rounds of on-site bag-filling. About 35 ha can grow enough seedlings over a three-year period to plant a 5,000-ha plantation. Prenursery seedlings must be watered daily. Whenever rainfall is less than 10 mm per day, irrigation is required, and the system must be capable of uniformly applying 6.5 mm water per day.

Prenursery seedlings in the four-leaf stage of development (10 to 14 weeks after planting) are usually transplanted to the main nursery after their gradual adjustment to full sunlight and a rigid selection process. During culling, seedlings that have grassy, crinkled, twisted, or rolled leaves are discarded.

Weeds growing in the polybags must be carefully pulled out. Herbicides should not be used. Numerous insects (ants, armyworms, bagworms, aphids, thrips, mites, grasshoppers, and mealybugs) and vertebrates (rats, squirrels, porcupines, wild boar, and monkeys) are pests in oil-palm nurseries and must be carefully identified before control measures are implemented.

After eight months in the nursery, normal healthy plants should be 0.8–1 m in height and display five to eight functional leaves.

The proper approach to oil palm development begins with the establishment of leguminous cover plants, immediately following land clearing. They help prevent soil erosion and surface run-off, improve soil structure and palm root development, increase the response to mineral fertilizer in later years, and reduce the danger of micronutrient deficiencies. Leguminous cover plants also help prevent outbreaks of Oryctes beetles, which nest in exposed decomposing vegetation. Both phosphorus and potassium fertilizers are needed to maximize the leguminous cover plants' symbiotic nitrogen-fixation potential of around 200 kg nitrogen/ha/yr, and are applied to most soils at 115 to 300 kg phosphorus oxide/ha and 35 to 60 kg potassium oxide/ha. Young palms are severely set back where grasses are allowed to dominate the inter-row vegetation, particularly on poor soils where the correction of nutrient deficiencies is difficult and costly.

Nutrient uptake is low during the first year, but increases steeply between year one and year three (when harvesting commences) and stabilizes around years five to six. Early applications of fertilizer, better planting material, and more rigid culling have led to a dramatic increase in early yields in the third to sixth years from time of planting. In regions without a significant drop in rainfall, yields of over 25 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches per hectare have been achieved in the second year of harvesting.

Nitrogen deficiency is usually associated with conditions of water-logging, heavy weed infestation, and topsoil erosion. Symptoms are a general paling and stiffening of the pinnae, which lose their glossy lustre. Extended deficiency will reduce the number of effective fruit bunches produced, as well as the bunch size.

Phosphorus-deficient leaves do not show specific symptoms, but frond length, bunch size, and trunk diameter are all reduced.

Potassium deficiency is very common and is the major yield constraint in sandy or peaty soils. The most frequent symptom is "confluent orange spotting". Pale green spots appear on the pinnae of older leaves; as the deficiency intensifies, the spots turn orange or reddish-orange and desiccation sets in, starting from the tips and outer margins of the pinnae. Other symptoms are "orange blotch" and "midcrown yellowing". In soils having a low water-holding capacity (sands and peats), potassium deficiency can lead to a rapid, premature desiccation of fronds.

Copper deficiency is common on deep peat soils and occurs also on very sandy soils. It appears initially as whitish-yellow mottling of younger fronds. As the deficiency intensifies, yellow, mottled, interveinal stripes appear, and rusty, brown spots develop on the distal ends of leaflets. Affected fronds and leaflets are stunted and leaflets dry up. On sandy soils, palms recover rapidly after a basal application of 50 grams of copper sulphate. On peat soils, lasting correction of copper deficiency is difficult, as applied copper sulphate is rendered unavailable. A promising method of correcting copper deficiency on peat soil is to mix copper sulphate with clay soil and to form tennis-ball sized "copper mudballs" that are placed around the palm to provide a slow-release source of available copper.

Healthy, well selected seedlings are necessary for early and sustained high yield. In most cases, granular multinutrient compound fertilizers are the preferred nutrient source for seedlings in the nursery. Where subsoil is used to fill the polybags, extra dressings of Kieserite may be required (10-15 g every six to eight weeks). Where compound fertilizers are not available, equivalent quantities of straight materials should be used.

To maintain good fertilizer response and high yields in older palms, selective thinning is often necessary


It is a fact that the quality of palm oil is dependent on the method of processing it,palm oil past through lots of processes before it becomes ready for deomestic and industrial.The quality of palm oil is mostly dependent on it level of heating during production process.Lack of adequate heating will produce bad quality of oil palm.If  the desired amount of heat is not used on the palm fruits, it may lead to bad quality of oil.


1.To evaluate the effect of fruit types and oil extraction method on the yield and quality characteristics of oil palm

2.To examine the effect of fruit storage and oil extraction method on the quality of palm oil

3.To determine the effect of the palm tree on the oil yield and palm oil quality

4.To study the effect of heat on the quality features of palm oil


1.What is the effect of fruit types and oil extraction method on the yield and quality characteristics of oil palm

2.What is the effect of fruit storage and oil extraction method on the quality of palm oil

3.What is the effect of the palm tree on the oil yield and palm oil quality

4.What is  the effect of heat on the quality features of palm oil


This research has  carried out in


This study will be useful to palm oil industries to enable them produce good quality palm oil and also to see the effect of heat on the quality process of palm oil.

The study will also contribute to existing literature on this same topic.

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