Apple farming has been a difficult venture in West Africa including Nigeria due to Climatic conditions. This fruit bearing plant is selective in climate ,yet the fruit is liked by many people in our country and the world at large. That is why the rate of consumptions keeps increasong daily. Apple has a higher demand compared to other fruits, hence the higher price of Apple; One can go for N50, N70 or N100 depending on the size. It grows in a warm or hot temperature of about 36°C.
Most African countries import apple from South Africa and Israel. The cost of importing Apple is high hence the increase in the price. Due to this challenges faced by Apple farmers, that Wambugu a Kenya man formerly a mechanic started searching for solutions because the seedlings imported from Israel couldn’t grow in Kenya. In his quest he went to the forest and cut the natural apple; grafted it with the seedling from Israel, it resulted in a great boom! From then Wambugu apple became a reality; the yield was more than the imported.
Wambugu apple also known as semi-arid-apple is an organic grafted apple that can withstand any climatic conditions, this means that Wambugu apple can be grown anywhere.
Wambugu apple became the first apple tree that can be grown in warm regions . As such West African Countries can now conveniently cultivate apple successfully.
In the light of this; a golden opportunity for farmers and investors to go into apple farming was created. The number of apple consumers is on a continuous increase even as the knowledge of the benefits grow. Before now it was mostly consumed by the high and mighty in our society, but now almost everyone craves for apple. It is said “one apple a day keeps you away from a Doctor”.
Tonnes of apples are being shipped into the country constantly, because of high demand, hence you need to awaken the farming apiration in you. Government can even sponsor individuals with farming aspirations or partner with private bodies to cultivate lands for growing this wonderful fruit. This will not only give a boost to our economy but will also provide job opportunities for thousands of unemployed individuals. As it will both serve locals and export Basis.
HOW TO CULTIVATE WAMBUGU APPLE
Wambugu apple has the ability to flourish in any soil type and weather conditions, but not in a swamp. For optimum growth and yield, plant Wambugu apple in a sandy-loam soil.
Clear the land by removing trees, shrubs, grasses and other weeds. It is recommended that you keep the gathered weeds in one place for compost manure. First prepare the soil by mixing organic manure with top soil in an equal ratio of 1:1 with water. Dig a hole of about 60cm by 60cm each.
Apply 30grams of the fully decomposed manure in each hole.
Soak the roots of the seedlings in water for an hour before planting to hydrate them. Sow the seedlings into the already dug hole at a depth of 2 inches above the soil level. Mulch the root area with the compost manure. The spacing should be 5m by 5m for optimum growth.
Transplant them very early in the morning or later in the evening but first of all loosen the soil before planting. Don’t shed the seedlings allow them to grow in the open sunlight. Prune the apple 2-3 years after planting for a good and healthy structure.
An acre would require 320 seedlings.
PEST/DISEASES IN APPLE FARMING
The common pests are thrips, aphids, fruit fluid, spider mites, apple scalp, root rot, powdery mildew. To prevent pest and diseases you need disease free seedlings.
Apply water 5-10 litres daily. But where the rain keeps falling every day stop watering to avoid root rot and do so when there is drought.
Top dressing should be done 6 months after planting. Wambugu apple can be grown completely with farmyard manure. Where there is need for additional nutrient you can add 200g of organic fertilizer for growth increase.
Ordinary apple trees matures within 3 years after planting. Grafted seedlings or the improved variety like the wambugu apple, matures and produce fruits between 9-14 months. A tree can produce 1,000-2,000 fruits. This is achievable after 3 years with good farming and cultural practices being put in place. The first fruiting will be few numbers without real taste, before the main fruiting.
Plucking is done with hands when they are still very fresh pluck into a basket. It should not be rough handled or brush on the ground to avoid abrasion that can quickly destroy the fruit. The plant can exist and produce for more than 45 years.
Apple produces twice in a year; July August and December-January. Delay in harvest will invite, insects and pests to the fruits. So you must avoid delay in harvesting.
Supermarkets, big shopping malls and big institutions buy in large quantities. as well as individuals who deal on Apple business, locate them and supply. Sell to market women and men.
Advertise your apple business online and off-line and you will see people coming to you for a purchase rather you going to them.
PROFITABILITY OF WAMBUGU APPLE FARMING
The profitability of Wambugu Apple is huge analyzing it with an acre of land; earlier on we stated that an acre will accommodate 320 trees.
A tree can produce produced 1000 fruit, and assuming an apple is N40 on wholesale basis. So 40×1000=N40,000. That means one tree will give you that amount.
#40,000×320 trees=#12,800,000 for an acre. Since apple produce twice yearly, we have 2×12,800,000=25,600,000. Isn’t that outstanding! Hence the reason to start wambugu apple Farming.
Wambugu apple is a special apple that can be grown any where in West African and the world at large. It grows with minimal maintenance. On a comparative scale of preference, I would choose to venture into apple farming business than any other fruit farming business.
Contact us for your apple seedlings.