My name is Uboh Ubong Israel a native of Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State Nigeria born on 2/01/1983, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering Technology.
Modern processing of oil palm fruit bunches into edible oil is practised using various methods, which may be grouped into four categories according to their throughput and degree of complexity. We aim for the most recent and modernized technology to achieve this.
Palm oil and palm kernel processing involve many different procedures. Therefore, the ability to make machinery that can handle the many unit operations involved is indicative of a general ability to produce processing machines for a more output of palm oil and palm kernel. This being the major occupation of the rural community of Abak Local Government, my focus is to purchase and process the fresh palm fruit from thousand of palm plantation hectares cultivated in the entire Abak local Government, to tonnes of fresh palm oil and palm kernel, which will go into local and international sales.
Processing oil palm fruits for edible oil has been practised in Africa for thousands of years. And the oil produced, highly coloured and flavoured, is an essential ingredient in much traditional West African cuisine. The traditional process is simple, but tedious and inefficient giving rise to my innovation to setup the modernized processing facility.
Because of its economic importance as a high-yielding source of edible and technical oils, the oil palm is now grown as a plantation crop in most countries with high rainfall (minimum 1,600 mm/y) in tropical climates within 10° of the equator. The palm bears its fruit in bunches varying in weight from 10 to 40 kg. The individual fruit, ranging from 6 to 20 g, are made up of an outer skin (the exocarp), a pulp (mesocarp) containing the palm oil in a fibrous matrix; a central nut consisting of a shell (endocarp); and the kernel, which itself contains an oil, quite different to palm oil, resembling coconut oil.
My major motivating factor is the fact that palm oil and palm kernel is a source of livelihood of my immediate communities and the inability of the local farmers to fully explore this economic tree to compete in the international market. By setting up the proposed plant, the production capacity will increased and all the yearly harvested palm fruit will be purchased and processed without much hassle.
How do we achieve this? Palm fruit harvest is a daily activity in these communities from numerous plantations, considering the stress of processing. The traditional method most local farmers rather prefer selling the palm fruits, with our well equipped factory we will buy the fruits around these communities to boost our production capacity of 2–5 tonnes per hour. Our team of marketers will always go around the communities to buy the fruits on daily basis to feed the plant to the expected output.
At the moment, we have acquired a land in Abak Local Government for the proposed palm processing mill and also paid for the processing plant from the local manufacturers, and also make provisions for installations. Currently, we own about five mini-mills around the region.
From our cash-flow analysis one tonne of fresh fruit bunch (FFB) is estimated at N 25,000 (USD 83.3). The fresh palm oil, palm kernel, palm kernel oil, and palm kernel cake derived from the processing will give us an estimated return of N 105,000 (USD 315.55). The market for the these is huge, sustainable, and expanding. The estimated size of the local market is put at about N 3 billion for palm oil N 4.4 billion for palm kernel oil, while the market for palm kernel cake is estimated at N 3.3billion. These products are all embedded in the fresh fruit bunch.
Budget (USD 5,000)
Purchase of fresh fruit bunch USD 4,500
Purchase of diesel for operation USD 100
Transportation of fresh fruit bunch to factory USD 100
Deployment of casual staff activities USD 200
Power grid and water board bill USD 100
Blogpost and picture submitted by Uboh Ubong Israel (Nigeria): yaledongeorge[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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