Wambugu apple also known as semi-arid-apple is an organic grafted apple that can be grown anywhere. Apple farming has been a difficult thing in West Africa including Nigeria due to Climatic conditions. This fruit bearing plant is very selective yet the fruit is liked by many people in our country.
That is why the rate of consumption keeps increasing daily. Apple is more preferred than other fruits and has a higher price.. One can go for #50 or #100 depending on the size. Wabugu apple grows in a warm or hot temperature of about 36°C. Unlike the other known specie that grows only in temperate regions with low temperature.
Most African countries import apple from South Africa and Israel. The cost of importing them down increases the price.It was because of this challenge 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, boom! Wambugu apple was birthed; the yield was more than the imported.
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.
This is a golden opportunity for farmers and investors to go into apple farming for cool business. The number of people consuming apple keeps increasing every day as the knowledge of the benefits grows. Before now it was mostly consumed by the high-class and middle class but now almost everyone craves for apple. It is said “one apple a day keeps you away from a Doctor”.
The number of cartons shipped into the country to awaken the farmer in you. Government can even sponsor individuals or partner with private bodies to grow this wonderful fruit. This will not only give a boost to our economy but will also provide jobs for thousands of unemployed persons. As it will both serve the locals and export.
HOW TO CULTIVATE WAMBUGU APPLE
Wambugu apple can be grown in any soil type and weather but not in a waterlog area. For optimum growth and yield plant them in a sandy-loam soil.
Clear the land by removing trees, shrubs, grasses and other weeds. You can keep them in one place for compost manure. Dig a hole of about 60cm by 60cm or a hole of 2 feet by 2 feet. Before starting prepare the soil by mixing organic manure with top soil in an equal ratio of 1:1 with water.
Apply 30kg 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 requires 310 seedlings.
PEST/DISEASES IN APPLE FARMING
The common pests are aphid, thrips, fruit fluid, spider mites, apple scalp, root rot, powdery mildew. As it is often said prevention is better than cure. So prevent pest and diseases by using 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 150g of organic fertilizer to boost growth.
- Red delicious
- Golden varieties
Ordinary apple trees matures within 3 years after planting. Grafted seedlings or the improved variety like the wambugu apple, matures and fruit 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 but in place. The first fruiting will be few numbers just to taste water before the main fruiting.
Pluck the fruit with your hands when they are still very fresh 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 live and produce for more than 45 years.
It has 2 seasons within a year; July August and December-January. Delay in harvest will invite, insects and pests to the fruits.
Supermarkets, big shopping malls and big institutions purchase apple in large dozens, 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 IN WAMBUGU APPLE FARMING
In this analysis, I shall be using an acre for a sample. As previously started an acre will accommodate 310 trees.
Let us say a tree produced 1000 fruit, let’s also assume an apple is #50 So 50×1000=#50,000. That means one tree will give you that amount.
#50,000×310 trees=#15,500,000 for an acre. Since Apple has 2 fruiting season we have 2×15,500,000=31,000,000. Can you beat that, here is the reason to start wambugu apple farming.
Wambugu apple can grow anywhere in the world including West African countries and Nigeria. It grows with minimal maintenance. If you ask me between apple farming and orange farming which will I go for… hmmmm. Your guess is as good as mine.
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