Palm tree is one of the most valuable trees on earth when it comes to natural endowment. No part of palm tree is wasted, as every part of it can be converted into monetary gain.
There are numerous products that can be gotten from palm tree, some are known to us, and some are totally unknown.
Derivable items from a palm tree include palm oil, wood or planks, palm wine, broom, palm kernel, frond stall, mats, and basket.
Palm oil is said to be the most popular product we get from the palm tree. It is extracted from the palm fruit and it is used as cooking and frying oil. Healthy and nutritious for human consumption, it is also used for industrial purpose for manufacturing cosmetics, soaps, toothpaste, lubricant, ink, and waxes.
The stems from palm tree can be converted into woods or planks for making buildings.
Palm wine is a tasty drink gotten from the sap of various species of palm tree like the date palms, Palmyra, and coconut palms. It is one of the most popular drinks in Africa with enormous benefits. It can fight cancer, it increases eyesight, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, promotes lactation, and helps in maintaining healthier skin, hair, and nails.
There is no home (poor or rich) you will not find brooms. Broom is used for sweeping, removal of cobwebs and as a tool for preparing ewedu soup in Nigeria.
An edible seed of the palm fruit, palm kernel seed, gives the palm kernel oil, which oil is considered as a remedy for epilepsy, is a rich antioxidant agent that contains vitamin E and prevents symptoms and signs of aging. When applied to the hair, it makes it thicker and prevents breakage; it softens the skin, helps to detoxify the body, controls blood pressure and takes care of body odour.
While the frond stall is used as purling in making roofs, leaves fibre obtained from the leaves of raffia palm are used for mats, baskets hats for commercial purpose and for tying plants and other objects.
Baskets are made from leaves fiber of palm trees, sold in bulk most times to distance places where they are used for varying purposes.
The palm tree is said to be a great source of generating income in Nigeria because of its usefulness and the huge profit involved in every part of the tree (fruits, kernel, trunks, leaves and sap) used for different products.
Owning a palm plantation is a business that can serve generations yet unborn. It takes about four to five years to start reaping the fruits from the trees, but it is worth the wait because it generates income for years to come.
By Grace Abu (Programme Assistant, Cal-Maji Foundation)