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How to Start Palm Oil Business in Nigeria In 2023

The lack of employment opportunities in Nigeria has led many people even students to explore alternative ways of earning a living. One lucrative business option is venturing into the palm oil industry. Palm oil is in high demand as it is a key ingredient in cooking. In this article, I will provide you with valuable information on how to start a palm oil business in Nigeria in 2023, highlighting the steps, requirements, and potential profitability of this venture.

An Overview of Palm Oil Production in Nigeria

In case you are not aware, Nigeria is one of the leading palm oil-producing countries globally.

The extraction process involves obtaining edible red oil from the mesocarp of the palm fruit. Palm oil serves various purposes and is used in the production of numerous products.

Palm oil production was historically a significant source of income for the Nigerian government until the discovery of crude oil.

In these simple guidelines on how to start Palm Oil Business In Nigeria In 2023, you will learn the actual processes on the exact way you can go about it and make a mouthwatering amount of money.

How Palm Oil Is Being Processed

How to Start Palm Oil Business in Nigeria in 2023
How to Start Palm Oil Business in Nigeria in 2023

There’s no better way to make the most out of the Palm Oil Business rather than producing it by yourself.

Processing palm oil requires the right machinery and a series of steps. Below is a simplified guide to processing palm oil in Nigeria:

  • Obtain palm fruit by planting palm fruit seedlings and harvesting ripe bunches.
  • Thresh the palm fruit to separate the fruits from the bunches, and then sterilize them.
  • Crush the palm fruits to extract the crude palm oil.
  • Purify the raw palm oil and dry it before selling or using it for personal consumption. You can also consider exporting it to other countries.

Requirements To Start Palm Oil Business In Nigeria In 2023

To start a palm oil business in Nigeria, you need several key requirements. These include:


You will need capital to purchase land, hire labor, and acquire storage facilities. 

The amount of capital required will depend on the scale of your business.

However, if possible you have land already with palm trees that will reduce your cost. 

At the same time, if you don’t have land or palm trees, you can go to villages around you, there’s no way you won’t find one, two, or more Palm trees for rent.


You need transportation facilities to move your equipment, palm oil, and palm fruits efficiently.

Not necessarily a truck if you’re not starting too large, you can always find people to transport your Palm fruits, oil, or equipment for you.


 Establish relationships with reliable suppliers who can provide you with the necessary equipment and palm fruit seedlings. 

Additionally, identify retailers who will purchase directly from you and supply to consumers.

What Is the Production Season of Palm Oil In Nigeria?

Another Important lesson you must learn in this article “How to Start Palm Oil Business In Nigeria” is the production season.

The production season of palm oil in Nigeria usually coincides with the rainy season, which falls between June and September. 

It is during this period that palm fruit planting is most favorable. 

Business Ideas: Top 10 Profitable Small Business Ideas To Start With Zero Capital In Nigeria

However, do ensure you note that oil palms start bearing fruit approximately 3 to 4 years after planting, requiring patience during the initial waiting period.

Where You Can Get Palm Seedlings For Planting In Nigeria?

Palm seedlings can be obtained from the seed pods of flowering palms or purchased from the market. 

The size of palm seeds can vary, with some being small and bright red, while others are larger.

If you prefer to collect seeds from your own tree, it’s advisable to gather them immediately after they fall, refusal to gather the seed when fall would make it lose much if the oil.

I’m saying this from experience, that I’ve garnered probably 12 years now. 

Additionally, palm seeds have a limited lifespan, so timely utilization is absolutely crucial. 

Before planting, it’s recommended to perform a seed viability test by placing the seed in warm water. 

If the seed floats, it is unsuitable for planting; if it sinks, then it is suitable for germination and there’s a high possibility it will bear good fruits.

How Profitable is Palm Oil Business In Nigeria?

How to Start Palm Oil Business in Nigeria in 2023
How to Start Palm Oil Business in Nigeria in 2023

Believe or leave it, the palm oil business in Nigeria has always been highly profitable due to the widespread demand for palm oil both domestically and industrially and will always be profitable.

Palm oil is an essential ingredient in cooking, therefore this has definitely made it a staple in many households.

Cost Of Starting a Palm Oil Business In Nigeria 2023?

I would say the cost of starting a palm oil business varies depending on the specific type you choose. 

If you opt for a palm oil plantation, it can be capital-intensive due to the expenses associated with acquiring or renting land, purchasing palm fruit seedlings, hiring manpower, and acquiring machinery.

On the other hand, starting a palm oil extraction mill or selling palm oil directly requires a comparatively lower initial investment when compared to a palm oil plantation.

However, I would like to give you an approximation of the cost of starting a Palm oil plantation business in Nigeria and starting a Palm oil extraction business or buying and reselling.

Note that the most profitable of these three is oil plantation and at the same time, it needs huge capital.

The cost of starting a Palm oil plantation business including the cost of machinery, land, workforce, etc could go as high as N25 to N50 million naira.

While the cost for the Palm oil extraction business in Nigeria may also vary, you can get a small palm oil extraction machine for N200,000.

At least 5 plots of land should be okay but you may extend it as your business grow.

The cost of land in locations also varies, if in villages, you may be able to get a plot of land with less than N300,000.

Also, not that one small Palm oil extraction machine would not be enough on at least 5 acres of land, you’ll need to have at least three Palm oil extraction machines.

And the approximate cost for land, palm oil extraction machine, and other machinery needed could make the cost of start-up go as high as N5 million and less than N10 million. 

However, the cost could go higher if you decide to expand the business.

Buying and selling on the other hand is the simplest and requires not much effort rather than finding good buyers.

This business can be started with N500,000 or less as it does not require huge capital.

How To Start Palm Oil Business In Nigeria In 2023

These are the essential guidelines provided to walk you through how to start the Palm oil business in Nigeria in the right way in 2023.

To start your own palm oil business in Nigeria, kindly follow these steps:

Choose the Type of Palm Oil Business You Want to Invest In

You can select from the three main types explained earlier. They are palm tree plantations, establishing a palm oil extraction mill, or engaging in the sales of palm oil. 

Read Also: Lucrative Small Businesses To Start With N20,000 In Nigeria in 2023

You can do this by considering your budget, patience level, and market opportunities before making a decision.

Draft A Business Plan

Every business needs a plan.

Create a comprehensive business plan that includes an executive summary, analysis, market analysis, company description, team structure, financial analysis, competitive analysis, marketing strategies, and an appendix. 

Conduct a feasibility study and market research to ensure your plan is well-informed.

Establish a Storage Space

Set up a storage facility that is cool, safe, and dry to store your palm oil. 

Proper storage conditions are essential to maintain the quality of the oil until it is sold. Invest in kegs or drums for effective storage.

Arrange with Suppliers

If you are not producing palm oil yourself, you will need to establish reliable relationships with suppliers who can provide you with a steady supply of palm oil.

Find a Good Means of Transportation

Identify the most cost-effective, credible, and secure mode of transportation for your palm oil. 

Seek recommendations from suppliers or utilize your own vehicle if available.

Look for Customers 

Actively search for customers to ensure the success of your business. 

Potential customers can include market sellers, housewives, cosmetologists, and others. 

Consider marketing your business online to reach a wider audience.

That aside, there are also companies in Nigeria that buy palm oil in relatively large quantities.

Some of these companies are:

  • Phemsoon Nigeria Limited located in Lagos State, Nigeria
  • OM Oil industry limited Lagos, Nigeria
  • Planet Oil and chemical industry is located in Abia State, Nigeria.

Those are currently the list of companies buying Palm oil in Nigeria I’m able to provide.

FAQs On How To Start Palm Business In Nigeria In 2023

In this article, you’ve already learned how to start Palm Oil Business In Nigeria successfully, however, there are some frequently asked questions you may need to be knowledgeable of, they have been provided below with their respective answers:

Is it necessary to have prior experience in the palm oil industry to start a business?

While prior experience can be beneficial, I would say it is definitely not a strict requirement. 

With thorough research, learning from experts, and dedication, you can acquire the knowledge and skills needed to start and run a successful palm oil business.

How long does it take for a palm oil tree to start bearing fruit?

Generally, oil palm trees start bearing fruit around 3 to 4 years after planting. However, it may vary depending on the variety of the palm and the agricultural practices employed.

Can I start a palm oil business on a small scale?

Yes, it is possible to start a palm oil business on a small scale. 

You can begin by sourcing palm oil from suppliers and selling it directly to consumers or retailers. 

As your business grows, you can consider expanding into other aspects of the palm oil industry.

Are there any regulations or permits required to start a palm oil business?

It is essential to comply with the relevant regulations and obtain necessary permits. Registering your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is a crucial step if you’re operating a large scale business.

 Additionally, you may need to adhere to agricultural and environmental regulations, depending on the scale and nature of your business.

Where can I find additional information and resources on palm oil production in Nigeria?

You can gather more information and resources from government agricultural agencies, industry associations, research institutions, and online platforms. 

These sources can provide insights into best practices, market trends, and available support programs.

How can I differentiate my palm oil business in a competitive market?

To stand out in a competitive market, focus on quality, consistency, and customer satisfaction. 

Establish good relationships with suppliers and customers, offer competitive pricing, and ensure the freshness and purity of your palm oil. 

Marketing and branding strategies, such as highlighting sustainable practices or organic certifications, can also help differentiate your business.

Is it possible to export palm oil from Nigeria?

Yes, Nigeria has the potential for palm oil exports. 

If you meet the necessary quality standards and have the required permits and certifications, you can explore opportunities to export palm oil to international markets.

What are the common challenges faced in the palm oil business in Nigeria?

Common challenges include fluctuating market prices, competition, pests and diseases affecting palm trees, transportation, and logistics issues, and maintaining consistent quality. 

It is crucial to stay updated on industry trends, adapt to changing market conditions, and implement effective risk management strategies.

Wrapping Up

Starting a palm oil business in Nigeria can be a lucrative venture due to the high demand for palm oil in the country and abroad.

Remember, it is always advisable to conduct thorough research, seek expert advice, and tailor your approach based on your specific circumstances and the current market conditions.

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