The oil palm (Elaeis guinensis), originated in humid tropics of Africa where groves of wild palms still exists. The oil palm belongs to the family of Aracaceae (Palmae) and subfamily cocoideae. The natural habitat of the oil palm is fresh water swamps of river backs and lakes of tropical rain forests of West Africa (Ndon, 2005). The oil palm has long been domesticated by many West African coastal dwellers before the advent of the white man to West Africa. (Ndon, 2006).
Historical evidence supports the fact that the oil palm originated from West Africa. The oil was introduced into south East Asia form Mauritius in 1948 and the first commercial plating was established in North Sumatra, Indonesia to Malaysia in 1929 (Ndon, 2006). According to ( Komolafe et al, 1985), oil palm originated in the tropical of West Africa. At the preset time the oil palm exist in wild and cultivated states in the three land area of the equatorial tropics in Africa. In south-East Asia and in America. 

Under favourable condition of all oil bearing plant, oil palm gives the highest yield even though the poorer plantations of Africa, out yields the best field of coconut, a crop which the oil palm could well over take in the export field. Nigeria has lacked behind not only in the oil palm production but also in research into all palm production. The seriousness of the challenge is illustrated by the current world palm oil production statistics which shows that Nigeria remains a pitiable rural largest producer of palm oil. Malaysia produces 47.1% and Indonesia 35.3% of the world process 3.6% of the total palm oil (FAO, 2000).
All parts of the oil palm tree are useful. The roots have medicinal value in the healing of boils and other inflammatory swelling in humans the trunk is used as timber, firewood, broom and basket making and construction of local thatched houses. The young inflorescence are tapped for palm wine from which local gin and other alcoholic drinks are distilled. The bunch refuse is high on potassium and it is used in fertilizer making. The red oil is extracted from the oily mesocarp and it is used for soap making, candles, margarines, paints, cooking fats confectionaries. The palm kernel oil is used for production of soap, margarine etc, the palm kernel cake is user for livestock such as cattle, poultry etc. refined palm oil and palm kernel oil are used for the manufacturing of cosmetics, plastics and polymers. The oil palm industry contributes greatly to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the major producing countries and also provides employment to the citizens (Ndon, 2006).


The fruit of the oil palm grow in bunches, the weight of which vary form a few kilograms when first in bearing to over 100kg in exceptional cases. A typical well-grown mature palm in Africa may have bunches averaging 2—30kg and attain an average of 30-40kg in exceptionally productive land Hartley (1967). The fruit of the oil palm is usually a sessile drupe, or one seeded fruit enclosed in a fleshy pulp; of variable shape, 2.5cm long and weigh 3-30g. Jacquemard (1998). The kernel consist of an irregularly shaped mass of white soluble proteins or albumen enclosing a cylindrical embryo, an endocarp or shell a mesocarp or fleshy part (pulp) with high oil content and a coloured exocarp or outer skin Jacquemard (1998).
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