Palms are productive for roughly 23 years before they are replanted. They can be replanted at an earlier age, or can continue producing fresh fruit bunches for longer. Palms are often replanted because they become too tall to harvest efficiently rather than because they are no longer producing enough bunches. An additional factor in replanting is the need to maximise capacity utilization in our mills.
When the time comes to replant a field, the palms are felled and chipped. They are stacked in long rows to rot down, returning nutrient and organic matter to the field. The field is then ploughed and left fallow for several months. If necessary, at this time roads are repositioned or drains dug. New seedlings are then planted, taking care not to position them on the same ‘points’ as the old palms. After some 30 months of immaturity, the field is brought into harvesting once again.