In most parts of Africa, especially in West Africa, are located in the world's tropics, known as the world's oil palm belt, which provides a good environment for the production of oil palm plantations. However, Africa's palm oil production is far below its real potential because there is not enough palm trees planted on a commercial scale.
Oil palm plantation
The features which make Africa most suitable for planting oil palm plantations include:
1. Have a hot weather all year round - oil palm planted all year round hot places: 25 to 28 degrees Celsius. The high temperature makes the oil palm tree grow a lot of leaves, resulting in more fruit. Higher temperatures also mean that palm trees are not susceptible to disease.
2. Have a lot of sunshine - oil palm need a lot of sunshine to grow well. Throughout the year the sun can help the palm trees to produce a large amount of oil mature ripe fruit.
3. Have plenty of rain - oil palm is not likely to do well in dry areas. Adequate rainwater is good for trees, allowing them to grow many leaves for greater photosynthesis, resulting in more fruit.
4. Have rich, deep, flat, permeable soil - oil palm need to get water and mineral salt in the depths of the soil in order to do well. If these basic nutrients are not available adequately and easily, the yield (harvest) may be poor. The soil must also be able to allow water to penetrate (permeability) to ensure that the soil is always ranked well. However, due to the lack of sufficient minerals in the soil, fertilizers can be used to supplement the existing supply.
Although Africa has these great advantages, about 80% of today's palm oil is consumed in palm oil from rural households, or oil palm trees growing in the forest.