Production Technology of Oil Palm
There is an ever increasing demand for vegetable oils all over the world today. Oil palm is one of the important crops which can meet the demand for vegetable oils. It provides both palm oil and kernel oil. The yield of palm oil is not only very high but this can also be grown in wider range of soils.
Hot humid equatorial climate with a mean annual temperature of 20-27°C is preferred. The optimum rainfall for oil palm lies between 2000-3000 mm (80" to 120"). In relatively low rainfall areas the oil palm flourishes only when rain and sunshine frequently alternate with one another and the soil moisture is sufficient high. It can be planted throughout the year.
High yields are obtained in deep, permeable soils which are rich in humus and have a crumby structure. Optimum soil reaction is from pH 6.5 to 7.5
Collect fresh, ripe fruits and remove the mesocarp. The basic requirement for germination of seeds are temperature about 40°C, adequate aeration and moisture content of about 22%. The seedlings will be ready for transplanting in 12-14 months.
Dig pits of 60 cm3 in 10 m rows at 10 m apart. Fill the pits with top soil, FYM and 125 g superphosphate. Plant good healthy seedling with a ball of earth in the center of pit.
Manure and Fertilizers:
Apply 50 kg FYM/plant before and after planting. The phosphorous should also be given before planting @ 125 g/plant After seven years,of planting apply NPK every year @ 450 N, 450 g P and 900 g K alongwith 350 g Mg per plant.
Remove the woods around the plants regularly. Carry out initial pruning just before assisted pollination begins, mamtaining two fronds below the lowest developing bunch. Maintain a minimum of 37 tronds per palm.
It Is necessary in order to ensure fertilization of all females flowers in the bunch especially during rainy season. Collect pollen from male inflorescence and dry in Sun for about 5 hours and store in a moisture free containers. It remains viable for over 30 days. Mix this pollen with chalk powder (1:4) and use for pollination; The stigma remains receptive for 3 days, after they have opened.
Ripe fruits become loose on the bunch and this stage can be considered as stage for harvesting. A chisel or harvesting knife attached to a bamboo pole is used for harvesting fruit bunches.
The fruit bunches are sterilize in steam or boiling water for 30-60 minutes. The object of this process is to inactivate the fat splitting enzymes which are present in fruit which may raise the free fatty acid content of the oil and also to soften the fruits for easy pounding strip. Sterilize fruits from the bunch and then pound, reheat. The pounded fruit mass should be squazed on or the hydraulic press. Then boil in a clarification drum. When the sludge will deposit in the bottom and pure oil float over the water, drain out the oil.
Insects. – Rhiocerousbeetlerand Slug caterpiller.
Diseases – Stem rot, Budrot, Crown disease, Morasmius disease for fruit
bunches and Gramodenus fungus
1. a) To control Rhicocerous beetle remove the adult beetles from the infected frantls and fill the hole with a mixture of BHC 10% or DDT 10% and fine sand (1:1)
(b)Treat the breeding ground with 50% BHC or Carbaryl 50% at 350 g/3m3.
2. To control the stem rot, prune the diseased frontals and burn them.
3. To control Morasmius disease, remove the unpollinated branches when they show signs of decay and burn them.
4. Gramodenues can be controlled by removing severely affected palms along with roots from the garden. Apply 1 kg Mancoreb or Capton or Thiram in Deep trenches, 1 m away from base of the palms.
5. To control the damages of Slug caterpillar, remove and burn affected leaflets and spray the plants with 40 g Carbaryl in 10 litres of water.