Palm tree, also known as nkwu in my language is one of the greatest and most important trees in the whole world. In this article, I will be writing about all the importance or values of Palm tree as a cash crop.
It produces red oil for cooking. It produces Palm kernel. It produces fiber. It produces wine. It produces planks for roofing. Broom is gotten from it.
The importance or values or Palm tree as stated above makes the tree the most respected and one of the most sacred trees in my place. Those who are into Palm plantation or Palm agriculture and and those who are into Palm oil or red oil business will testify to the lucrative business this tree can provide, infact, this tree make up about 50 to 70 percent of some country’s source of revenue. Check below to read the full details of Palm tree.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
WHAT IS PALM TREE
IMPORTANCE/VALUES OF PALM TREE
WHAT IS PALM TREE
Palm tree is a cash crop that grows mainly in a tropical areas and hot climate.
According to wikipedia.com “Palm trees are a botanical family of perennial lianas, shrubs, and trees. They are the only members of the family Arecaceae, which is the only family in the order Arecales. They grow in hot climates”.
Palm trees are mainly tall, although there are two species of it, the tallest specie is up to 190 feet tall. while the other one(Agric type ) could be up to 15 feet tall.
The Agric specie takes a short while to grow into maturity and start bearing fruits/frond at the age of 4 to 6 years, while the tallest specie could take up to 15 to 20 years to grow into maturity.
IMPORTANCE/VALUES OF PALM TREE
Palm tree as a cash crop has many things it produces, it is so rich economically that one Palm tree could produce up to five different valuable products. Here are some of the products that could be gotten from the palm tree.
RED OIL/PALM OIL
This is an oil used for cooking. This is the most important cooking oil for any kind of food like soup, yam, plantain, Rice etc. IT can be used to cook anything! This oil is gotten from a palm frond(palm fruit),it takes many process to process inorder to give the oil, here are the process- After the palm frond is harvested from the palm tree, the palm frond is taken to a place where it will be kept until it began to loose it fruits, the fruits are then collected and taken to an oil mill so that they could be processed and cooking oil is gotten from it.
Palm kernel is one of the products gotten from a palm tree. This is a nut with a hard shell that is gotten from a palm frond after it is processed. Palm kernel can be said to be an economic product found inside a palm fruit after it it processed. This nut is very costly because it can be used to produce many thing, including medicine. It has its own oil, which is exactly like vegetable oil when it is processed very well. It is used to make cream. It is used to make medicine for different kinds of illness like cough and cold etc. It could be eaten raw or added with some foods like soaking of garri ( a by- product of cassava) eating bread or cake, I could be used to make feed for chicken.
Inorder to get the nut of a palm kernel, after the palm frond is processed and the kernel gotten out, leave the kernel under the hot sun for about 1 week in order to dry, crack the kernel with stone or nut cracker to get the main nut that is valuable. Although cracking kernel with stone or nut cracker is slow and tedious, there is a machine that does that if you want to do it in a commercial quantity.
Fiber is another product gotten from palm tree. This is gotten after the palm frond is processed and the kernel separated and red oil taken out, what remains is the fiber.
Fiber is used for many things, although it is not that economically viable or lucrative, but it helps very well with many things like, It can serve as a source of energy for cooking. Yes it is used to cook as a local source of energy in my place. when you light it with fire, it catches immediately and stays on till it is exhausted, which makes it a good cooking fuel.
It is used by industries to produce fiber water tanks etc.
Palm tree produces wine, which is called palm wine. If you are a lover of alcoholic wine, this wine is the best. It has high volume of alcohol and can be very testify and nutritious. Talking of nutrition, this wine contains high level of protein, fiber, all manner of calcium and iron, it also protects the immune system.
Palm wine is the key to festivals and occasions in my place, hence it is even used for a ritual celebration. Palm wine is the primary source of hot drinks like kai kai and many more.
Palm wine is gotten from a matured palm tree. Once a palm tree is matured, there are special people that do harvest it and bring out the wine by digging a hole on top of the palm tree and placing a pipe there so that palm wine will be dripping on what ever they place there as a container.
The tree serves as a good source of planks for roofing of houses. This is achieved when a palm tree is old enough to be used for planks, it is cutted
down and a machine is used to cut the tree into various pieces, according to the length and height of planks needed for the roofing. The planks are then placed under the hot sun so that it could dry and good for roofing. Believe me, this is one of the hardest planks ever for roofing when done very well. Note – although the planks is strong, but it is prone to water.
Broom is a very useful tool in the house. It serves as a tool for sweeping, removing the cobwebs etc. This awesome house hold tool is also gotten from the palm tree. Palm leave is the primary source of broom.
When the palm leaves are cut down, they are carried and turned to broom with knife, razor blades etc.
SIGNS AND SYMBOLS
The palm leave serves as symbols/Religious Symbols, especially in my place where palm leave signifies many things, especially in the past, the palm leave was used to signify danger like war, accident, ceremonies like burial weeding festivals etc. It is also used to signify a forbidden places like a place forbidden for people to enter or land in dispute, and people respect it.
Also in the Bible during the triumphant entry of Jesus, palm tree leave was used as a sign of triumph by the disciples of Jesus and other people.
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