Opportunities in the Oil Palm Sector: Selling of Seedlings

Have you ever taken time to consider the business potential in the Oil Palm sector? You will be amazed and impressed at what you have been missing all these while.

Do you know that West Africa used to produce up to 75 percent of all the palm oil consumed worldwide? That is now history. Nowadays, the reality is that Africa now imports nearly 60 percent of its palm oil from faraway Malaysia and Indonesia to complement local production.

This is not a good news but is a window of opportunity for investors. How?

To help you appreciate the astonishing opportunities embedded in the oil palm sector, take a look at the table here and think deeply about the production vs consumption rates of palm oil in Africa and other countries of the world.

From the table here, you will notice that Nigeria that was once the world’s giant in oil palm production now imports 42% of the product from other countries.

You can begin to see yourself seated in the middle of a huge business. But why is the demand so high? Why should you be a part of this?


Apart from its use in cooking, palm oil is used as a substitute for fat in making condensed milk, coffee cream, ice cream and margarine. Besides, oil palm and its derivatives are used in the production of soaps, detergents, greases, lubricants and candles.

With huge demand for alternative power supply and bio-fuels market, palm oil has also proven to be a valuable feed stock for biodiesel and serves as an alternative to mineral oils used in power stations.

Palm oil derivatives are widely used in the pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industry. It is also used in the production of printing ink, drilling fluids and water-treatment products.

Business Opportunities

1. Produce and sell Oil Palm Seedlings

This is a good place to start because of the following reasons:

a. It does not require very big land. You can see the planting distance of oil palm nursery in the pictures below.

b. The demand is so high. People are now gaining growing awareness towards agriculture and oil palm is one of the major areas attracting lots of attention now. Many no longer consider it a wise idea to tie their fund in the bank. Where do you think the seedlings will come from? How many can travel down to NIFOR in Benin? If you have quality seedlings to sell around you and you create serious awareness, you will be surprised at the level of patronage.

A few months ago, our company had reasons to sell out about 100,000 oil palm seedlings. Radio jingles were prepared and within a month, they were all cleared. That was when I saw the potential. Do you know that a single individual bought 30,000 pieces? Guess how much a piece was sold. A whooping 1200.

Granted, our company is a big name in the industry and thus can sell at any price. But what prevents you from selling at #700 or even less? Imagine raising only 1000 pieces. Think about the potential.

In the next article, I will discuss another business opportunity in the oil palm sector. Thanks for reading.

I always appreciate your comments and questions. Drop them here and I will try my best to respond to them as soon as possible.


    • How long: This depends on your approach. I usually go for 2-stage nursery and that takes about 12 months
      Challenges: Oil palm is so hardy, so disease is minimal and can be controlled. Irrigation must be installed,
      or at least a water source to supply water. Marketing is not a problem due to high demand. Some level of
      awareness is in order.

    • I think I would need your advice on oil palm business.
      I have 25-30 acare palm oil plantation since year 2000,
      But up till now I have not been able to make brake even with the
      Farm. I think there is mixed up some where .

      I would like to discuss my problem with you.
      Thanks in Advance

  1. Thanks for this article, I have started my own already and I have up to five hundred seedlings Stan but I want to plant it. I need tips on how to plant it thanks.

    • They are available at research institutes and other big plantation companies. But there are important factors to really consider along the line.

    • I can have you come over to our plantation in Edo or Delta state. There may also be a live training in Lagos before the year runs out. If you will be interested, send me a mail.

  2. Very Interesting Business, which species will Fit to Southern Kaduna weather and it’s soil type (Sandy Loam soil and some parts clay soil)

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