This is a detailed guide on how to start apple farming in Nigeria.
Are you a farmer and you are interested in how to start apple farming in Nigeria? I know you have been wondering if apples grow in Nigeria.
This article will show you how Nigerian farmers cultivate apples in their backyards despite the tough weather.
Apple farming refers to the cultivation of apple crops for both personal and commercial use.
Apple cultivation is a lucrative industry in Nigeria, and the fruit is in high demand. The apple is a prized fruit that is widely consumed all over the world.
I’ve never met someone who says they don’t like or eat apples. The fruit is adored by many people. According to research, Nigeria imports 50,000 tonnes of apples each year.
A curious observation is that there has been a long-standing belief that Apple does not germinate in West Africa, especially Nigeria, due to the temperature and environmental circumstances. That may be true, but it’s not entirely accurate.
Because apples require low temperatures for maximum development and fruit production, they are rarely grown in Nigeria.
Even though the temperature in our environment is not ideal for growing apples, there are some states in Nigeria where the bell apple will thrive if given the necessary care.
Apples are grown in areas of Nigeria such as the Jos plateau, Mambila plateau, and Obudu plateau, among other places.
If you know what you’re doing, starting an apple farming business in Nigeria can generate millions of Naira for you in no time.
The few persons who have dared to delve into apple cultivation in Nigeria in recent years have made a steady profit, according to reports.
Although apple farming in Nigeria is a young sector, it offers tremendous potential for those who choose to engage in it.
It is not a bad idea to take advantage of the current market conditions to profit from the production of this type of fruit.
What Is An Apple?
An apple is a sweet, juicy, and edible fruit that is produced by the apple tree, which has the botanical name Malus Domestica.
All around the world, apple trees are grown for their fruit, and they are the most widely cultivated species in their genus.
Historically, the apple tree is said to have originated in Central Asia, where its wild progenitor, Malus sieversii, can still be found growing in its native environment.
Apple cultivation has been practiced in Asia and Europe for thousands of years, and it was brought to North America by European colonists
Types of Apples
This is the list of the types of apples that can be farmed in Nigeria amidst the harsh weather condition.
1. Red Delicious Apples
Red Delicious apples are strikingly red, nearly scarlet. They’re crisp and mildly sweet. Around the world, the Red Delicious apple cultivar is the most popular.
Red Delicious apples were once the most popular in the United States, but other kinds like Gala and Fuji have surpassed them in recent years. It has a heart-shaped body and bright crimson skin with small gold stripes.
2. Fuji Apples
Fuji apples are gaining popularity as a result of their ultra-sweet, crisp texture. They’re Ralls Janet and Red Sweet varieties. Its color usually comes in Pink with green and yellow speckles or stripes.
3. McIntosh Apples
Apples from the McIntosh family are deep crimson with green patches. They have a soft texture and are highly juicy, acidic, and sour. They’re fantastic for creating apple sauce or just eating plain.
4. Honeycrisp Apples
As the name suggests, the Honeycrisp apple has a faint honey flavor and a distinct crispness. Its significance is enhanced by the distinctive yellow coloration, which is topped with red and pink.
5. Jonagold Apple
It’s a combination between Jonathan and Golden Delicious. The Jonagold apple is a yellow apple with a hint of scarlet. It’s a big apple with a sweet, slightly sour flavor. It has crisp white flesh and is excellent for baking or eating.
6. Rome Apples
Rome apples are one of the best cooking and baking apples available; when cooked, they hold their shape and texture far better than almost any other kind.
The flavor of Rome apples is crisp and mild. They are also tasty to eat, but they are mostly used for cooking.
Health Benefits of Apple
Apart from bringing profits apple fruits also have their health benefits. Such as those listed below
- Apples can assist to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
- Apples are good for your teeth.
- Apples have anti-inflammatory qualities that can help you feel better.
- Apple is a good example of a healthy meal that aids weight loss.
- Apples may help to improve blood circulation, which helps to keep the skin looking young and toned.
- One large apple has around 17% of the daily required vitamin C consumption. This important vitamin aids in the prevention of infections and illnesses.
- Apple aid in the production of fresh breath.
- Apples account for half of all deciduous fruit tree production worldwide.
Facts about Apple
In 2021, global apple production is expected to reach 63.60 million tonnes. China is the world’s leading apple producer, with 44.5 million tonnes produced in 2021, accounting for 63.63 percent of global apple production.
Other nations include the United States of America (USA), Turkey, India, and the Russian Federation, which together produce approximately 86.48 percent of global apple output by 2021.
Nigeria does not feature among the world’s apple-producing countries because they require chilly conditions for optimal growth and fruit output.
Apple is very popular since there are numerous economic benefits associated with it. As food, apples can be consumed raw or included in a range of recipes, such as salads and custards, minced and mashed, frozen or dried into chips or other popular nutritious forms.
Apple juice drinks are known all over the world; and are featured in various fruit drinks. In Nigeria, fruit beverages that feature apples generate considerable demand.
It may interest you to know that apples are also used in the beauty industry. Apple seed oil is said to offer acne and wrinkles reduction effects; it is also utilized as a moisturizer for the skin.
Why you should Start Apple Farming in Nigeria
You should read this if you have any doubts about the profitability of apple farming in Nigeria. Apple farming in Nigeria offers a plethora of business prospects.
Raising apple seedlings for sale is an excellent way to gain money. The good news is that the apple seedling can be ready for sale within three months.
The seedling business can be started with as little as N20, 000 to N50, 000 in initial capital.
It has been reported by certain agricultural experts that the rainy season in Nigeria is the greatest time for you to invest in apple farming.
Among the fruit juice-producing enterprises in Nigeria, there is a rapid increase in the demand for apple fruit.
At the moment, Edo, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Ogun, Cross River, Ondo, and Lagos states are involved in apple farming in Nigeria.
The fact that it is also grown in Northern states such as Plateau and Nassarawa is important to understand.
The primary reason you should start apple farming in Nigeria is that the market for this product is underutilized. You must also consider the enormous Nigerian market when making your calculations.
A single tree can produce up to 1,000 apples per harvest, according to the creator of Apple Wealth Ventures.
You can harvest apples from your apple tree as many times as you want during the year. That is an indication of how profitable the apple-farming business in Nigeria is.
Step by step Guide on How to Start Apple Farming In Nigeria
Now that you are aware of the numerous business options that exist in the apple farming industry, let’s explore what it takes to succeed. This section entails all the steps on how to start apple farming in Nigeria. The following are the most important factors to consider while starting apple farming in Nigeria.
1. Seed Selection
When you want to start apple farming in Nigeria the first thing is to choose the type of apple you want to plant.
Not all types of apples could be produced in greater quantities in Nigeria, except for Bell and Wambugu apples, according to research.
Growing an apple tree from seed does not ensure that the fruit produced by these plants will bear fruit or be of the same variety.
So, before you start apple farming in Nigeria, it’s best to identify your variety or cultivar so that it doesn’t die after it’s planted outside.
Growing an apple tree from seed will result in a tree that grows to a full height of around 30 feet and it takes several years to develop.
2. Growing Apple Seeds in Nigeria
When starting apple farming in Nigeria you should be aware that apple trees do not self-pollinate in the same way that other trees do. As a result, you must plant them in pairs.
Following the identification of your cultivar, you must cultivate your apple seeds in a nursery, which necessitates careful observation of the seedlings.
To moisten the seedlings’ roots, soak them in water for an hour before planting. Your seeds will need to be put in a seedbed or a container outside.
If you’re not sure what kind of seedlings you have, get them from a reputable source so that when transplanting your apple trees from the nursery, they will not die.
The apple seedlings will thrive in a warm environment. For the greatest outcomes, keep your seedlings at room temperature. Applying fertilizers to your seedlings is not a good idea.
Applying manure is good if you so wish. You must water your seedlings regularly. Even after transplanting, watering will be required.
3. Land Preparation
Remove trees, shrubs, grasses, and other weeds from the area the apple seedlings will be transplanted to. For compost manure, you can keep them all in one area. Approximately 60cm by 60cm, or 2 feet by 2 feet, should be dug.
Prepare the soil by mixing organic manure and topsoil in a 1:1 ratio with water before beginning. Fill each hole with 30kg of thoroughly decomposed manure.
Apples thrive in soil with a pH of 7.0. The location where you plant your tree should be determined by some variables. Sunlight, soil, and space are examples of these.
Apple trees require direct sunlight to thrive. This equates to at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Before you start apple farming in Nigeria, consider your alternatives for suitable locations.
4. Transplanting and Seed Planting of your Apple Tree
It should be relocated from the nursery to a permanent position once it has reached maturity (however long that takes).
Transplant them either very early in the morning or later in the evening, but loosen the soil beforehand.
Apple trees should not be planted on soil that is poorly drained. It should preferably belong to the sandy loam and sandy clay soil types. These are the ideal growing conditions for apple trees.
To assist the apple tree’s roots in penetrating the soil, dig a two-foot-deep trench and loosen the walls of the dug hole. Compost manure should be used to mulch the root area.
For optimal development, plant 160 seedlings per acre with a 5m by 5m spacing. Allow the seedlings to grow in the open sunlight rather than shedding them.
For a good and healthy structure, prune the apple 2-3 years after planting. 310 seedlings are needed to cover an acre.
Apple trees should be grown in soil that retains moisture while draining efficiently. The soil should be reasonably rich and have a pH level that is close to neutral.
5. Management of the Apple Farm
The apple tree should be irrigated every 10 to 12 days while it is still young. You can reduce the amount of watering as the tree grows, merely keeping the soil moist.
You may need to water them less frequently as they grow. In the summer, though, water the tree every one to two weeks.
Unless the tree is in an arid environment, the tree can handle itself during the rest of the year; consequently, 2.5cm of water each week is good for the first year.
It’s also important to keep your tree safe from animals and pests. As a result, you’ll need a gated space to plant your apple trees.
To avoid too many clusters of fruit on an apple branch, which could double the weight and harm the plant, the tree branches should be clipped as they grow.
When your tree is mature enough, fertilize it. An apple tree has to be fertilized each spring. Before the tree produces buds, fertilize it. Nitrogen and oxide concentration (NPK) of 10-10-10 is recommended.
Every inch of the tree’s trunk diameter requires half a pound of it. Nitrogen deficiency can lead to an abundance of vegetative growth, but no fruit.
7. Harvesting of the Apple Fruits
Within three years of planting, apple fruits germinate and the tree grows. Between 9 and 14 months, grafted seedlings or enhanced varieties like the Wambugu apple mature and bear fruit.
A single tree can provide 1,000 to 2,000 fruits. With proper farming and cultural practices in place, this can be accomplished in three years. Before the main fruiting, the first fruiting will be a small number to taste the water.
When the apple fruits are ripe, you can harvest them by plucking them with your hands and placing them in a basket while they are still quite fresh.
To minimize abrasion that can quickly kill the fruit, it should not be rough handled or brushed on the ground.
The plant has a 45-year lifespan and can produce for that long. If the harvest is delayed insects and pests will flock to the fruits.
8. Marketing of the Apple Fruits
When you start apple farming in Nigeria the endpoint is for you to sell your products. Supermarkets, major retail malls, and large institutions purchase large quantities of apples, locate them, and supply them.
It can be marketed to market women and men. Advertising your apple business online and offline will also bring more customers to purchase it.
Challenges of Apple Farming In Nigeria
Starting apple farming in Nigeria is not easy at all. Below are some challenges that may affect starting apple farming in Nigeria, and other parts of the world:
- Unfavorable weather conditions
- Pests and infections
- Lack of well-equipped storage facilities
- The absence of effective production mechanisms
- Insufficient financing for research activities
- Bush burning
- Scarcity of common understanding about how to manufacture high-quality products
- Inability to import international standard processing machinery due to a lack of funding
- Thefts and crimes of violence
Apple farming in Nigeria is not frequently performed due to the plant’s climatic requirements. Nonetheless, the chances can even out because Nigeria has fertile land and favorable weather in crucial areas of Northern Nigeria.
Due to the large market need and your capacity to create a wide supply chain network, starting an apple farming business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable endeavor.
If you’re looking for a business to venture into, starting apple farming in Nigeria is a great option to consider.