Oil Palm Tree Farming In Kenya

This article focuses on oil palm tree farming in Kenya. Oil palm tree farming is not a common venture in Kenya. It is mainly done on small scale, particularly for palm oil which is extracted from the reddish pulp of the oil palm tree fruit.

Varieties Of Oil Palm Trees Grown In Kenya

  • Dura
  • Pisifera
  • Tenera
  • Hybrid Deli

Ecological Conditions For Growing Oil Palm Trees

  • Temperature range of 20°C- 35°C.
  • Altitude of 500-600m above sea level.
  • Well-distributed rainfall above 1000mm annually.
  • About 5 hours of sunlight/sunshine on a daily basis.
  • Sandy loam soils, alluvial clay soils and acidic soil with a pH of 5.5. The soils should also have good water holding capacity.

Planting of Oil Palm Trees

Propagation of oil palm trees is by seeds which are first raised in a nursery bed for 12-24 months and then later transplanted to the main field. The recommended spacing for planting is 7m by 8m.

Fertiliser Application

While the crop is still in the nursery, it is best to apply phosphatic fertilisers such as rock phosphate, TSP, magnesium oxide or potassium chloride.

Pests and Diseases Management

Pests that may attack the oil palm tree plants include aphids, thrips, armyworms, red spider mites, and mealy bugs. The pests can be controlled using insecticides such as confidor, applaud, dynamic or Volium targo.

One of the common diseases is leaf spot which can be managed by using fungicides such as Dacomil.


Oil palm trees take about 6 years to yield fruits which can be harvested continuously for 6 years. The colour change from black to orange is an indication of maturity. Another indicator is the fall of the first individual fruits.

Palm Oil

As mentioned earlier, palm trees are mainly grown for palm oil which is the most used vegetable oil in Kenya and the rest of the world.

Palm oil is also used to make products such as cosmetics, soaps, bread and many other products.

From one palm fruit, one litre of palm oil can be extracted.

Market For Palm Oil In Kenya

The biggest users of palm oil are oil refineries and manufacturing companies.  Palm oil is used as a raw material or ingredient to refine cooking oil and to manufacture various products.

Since palm tree farming is not a common venture in the country, a big percentage of palm oil is imported from other countries.

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Zack Abuyeka

I am the third eye.My duty is to keep you updated of the current trends and events happening round the globe.