For a Nigerian from South Eastern part of the most populous black nation in the world, there are several benefits that can be derived from palm trees. As a matter of fact, one wouldn’t be so wrong to tag palm trees as one of the many economic trees we have in Nigeria. Below, I’ll highlight a few benefits a Nigerian derives from the existence of palm trees. This is centered on Uses of Palm Trees in Nigeria.
What are the Uses of Palm Trees in Nigeria
Below is a list of things palm trees are used for in Nigeria.
One of the uses of a palm tree in Nigeria is the palm wine. Ever had a taste of Africa’s Palm wine? It is obtained from a palm tree. Do you know the Palm wine is one of the most important natural wines often demanded by your in-laws when you’re out to marry from Igboland?
Palm oil is a must in all Nigerian food except a few. It is made by first boiling the fresh palm nuts till the Mesocarp become soft and tender. This is then placed on a mill and meshed till a foam-like paste is obtained.
This foam like rough hot palm is then placed on a press, pressed till the fluid (Palm Oil) is extracted, bottled and stored after which it is exported the industries that needs them.
If you want to have that lovely meal, it has to be made with palm oil. Whenever I went to make my favorite Egusi soup, palm oil is the first thing I put on the fire. This is another use of palm tree in Africa. Let’s not forget to add that Palm oil is one of the major exports of Nigeria.
It’s a raw material for cosmetics and other industrial processes.
The Broom is a kind of local brush used for sweeping. Its obtained from the leaves of palm trees. This is the part of the tree that is removed leaving just the stick in the middle.
This stick is further extracted to leave just a stick of broom. Now this process is done repeatedly till a bunch of broom comprising of several sticks of broom is arrived at. This is tied and used to sweep the home. Another use of palm tree right?
There is this Edible worm that grows on a rotten palm tree. Its called Odin in Urhobo language (a language in Delta state, the south southern part of Nigeria)
This of course is another product that comes from palm trees, its another use of palm tree and it serves as a very meaty thing for most people out here.
Oil Palm Kernel
The Palm Kernel is an industrial materials for soap and pomade. Locally, the palm kernel is fried till its local gel starts coming out. This gel is collected and stored to be used as native pomade. This is another use of palm tree in Nigeria.
The Palm nuts is also cracked and eaten when hunger strikes. As for me, it used to be a favorite when I want to Drink garri but cannot afford groundnut. This is another usefulness of the palm tree for Africans as well.
Aside from Cocoa bean, palm oil, the palm nuts are very useful industrial raw material used in soap making, other beauty products as well.
The Palm leaves
In the village, the leaves are used to make fencing, to construct local bathrooms as well as used to make mats (specially used as roofing sheets in the villages). This is another usefulness of Africa’s palm trees
The young leaves from smaller palm trees are used to feed farm animals like goats, sheep, etc.
The trunk of a palm tree is sometimes sawn into planks and used to make benches. This is however very common in local bars.
The Trunk of a palm tree also serves as home to edible worms mentioned above, it’ll later be the source of fresh mushrooms and other beneficial stuffs.
Palm Kernel shell
You see, while cracking Palm nuts to expose the seeds, the shell is left off. Now I did a lot of tests with these shells and realized its actually a very good material for construction. Oil Palm Shells can play the same role gravels or granite plays in concrete, as a course aggregate. The issue however, is that such concrete is only suitable for light works like blinding and pavement construction.
Usually called Oil palm shell (OPS) in Civil Engineering, the Oil Palm shell has been used to construct benches in my school and these are quite useful.
Aside from that, the palm shells are also used as fuel in the villages. Especially when frying garri or using firewood in the rainy season.
Conclusion: What are the Uses of Palm Trees in Nigeria?
Well, from the above, it could be seen that the Palm tree is one tree with no useless part. This is because there are many uses that could not be mentioned here. The author therefore calls on our audience from other parts of the world to help us mention other uses that the palm tree could be subjected to