Growth and Yield Parameters of Introduced Oil Palm Crop in Uganda

  •  Gabriel Ddamulira    
  •  Alex Asiimwe    
  •  Fred Masika    
  •  Moses Amugoli    
  •  Gerald Ddumba    
  •  Alice Nambuya    
  •  Patrick Wetaala    
  •  Mcebisi Maphosa    


Oil palm is commercially grown on Bugala Island within Lake Victoria. But with increasing demand for vegetable oils in Uganda more areas for oil palm production are required. A study was conducted to identify new areas suitable for oil palm production. The experiment was super-imposed on 45 × 45 m plots in 3-year old oil palm plantations in Bugiri, Buvuma, Kibaale and Masaka. The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design with three replications. From 2011 to 2013 results indicated significant (P < 0.05) mean increments from 98.9 to 141 cm in height, 166 to 377 cm in stem girth, 24.3 to 30.1 in number of open leaves and 40.3 to 81.2 in number of flowered palm trees. On the monthly basis the highest fresh fruit bunch (FFB) number and yield were realized in May and October, respectively which corresponded with the peak rain months. Furthermore, significant (P < 0.05) increments of 40.9% in number of FFB, 55.4% in bunch weight and 16.9% in yield were observed from 2014 to 2016. Across sites, Kibaale had the highest (601.5 FFB ha-1) number of FFB while Masaka registered the lowest number (452.2 FFB ha-1). Oil palm yield in Kibaale and Buvuma was twice higher than in Masaka. But, yield in Bugiri was not significantly different from that of Buvuma and Kibaale but significantly (P < 0.05) higher than in Masaka. The findings on growth and yield of introduced oil palm crop revealed that Kibale, Buvuma and Bugiri are potential areas for oil palm production in Uganda.

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