How To Start African Star Apple Farming In Nigeria: Your Trusted Guide
African star apple farming in Nigeria is yet to enjoy the attention that has been showered on other fruits. Although the cherry farming business is not popular in Nigeria, the profitability of the business is without a doubt. Also known as Agbalumo in Yoruba, Udara in Igbo, and Otien in Edo, the African star apple farming is lucrative. The botanical name of the cherry is Chrysophyllum albidum and it belongs to the family Sapotaceae.
Starting your African star apple farming involves lots of work but you are certainly going to enjoy it at the end. Across the length and breadth of Nigeria, there is no religion or culture that is against the consumption of agbalumo. This tells you that there is an already existing and very large market to sell your Udara in Nigeria. Cherry farming business in Nigeria is not what you should ignore, especially considering the lucrative potential of the business.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with all the necessary and essential information regarding star apple farming in Nigeria. In this article, you shall learn how to plant agbalumo, how to plant star apple seeds and characteristics of African star apple. So, you just sit back and enjoy your reading as it promises to be very informative and educating too.
Why African Star Apple Farming In Nigeria
There are many reasons why you should consider venturing into star apple farming in Nigeria but the number one is its high-profit potential. The health benefits of cherry are so numerous to count and it is the major reason why people go for the Udara fruit. It will interest you to know that the Vitamin C that is present in Agbalumo is higher than the ascorbic acid in orange and guava. African star apple is also a good source of calcium and it is adjudged to provide about 10% of the calcium needed by the body.
The juice extracted from the African star apple can be used in the production of jams and jelly. This tells you that the fruit also has an industrial application aside its consumption.
The Characteristics Of African Star Apple
According to findings, African star apple is very acidic and sour when taken plucked from the tree. When you allow it to fall to the ground, it is always very sweet. The African star apple tree is commonly found through tropical Africa. When ripe, the fruit is orange in color with a milky pulp. There are still some varieties that retain their green color even after they are ripe for consumption. The seeds are shiny brown with a soft and smooth texture. You can carry out African star apple farming anywhere within Nigeria.
The African star apple is a seasonal fruit which starts yielding fruits during the dry season. A single Udara fruit does not contain more than 5 seeds. The pulp residue of Agbalumo can change to chewing gum when eaten. When starting your African star apple farming business, you should know that the trees differ in sizes, forms, and productivity.
Requirements For Starting Your African Star Apple Farming Business
Before you venture into African star apple farming in Nigeria, there are certain things you must put in place. These things will ensure that you have a successful business venture in the end. If you fail to have these requirements in place, you automatically hinder the success of your business. Below are these requirements that you must put in place:
A well-detailed business plan
There is no way you can have a vibrant and profitable African star apple farming business without a good business plan. Your business plan is very important, vital, and essential to the success of your agbalumo, Udara, or cherry farming in Nigeria. Just as the compass guides the sailor on his voyage, so does your business plan guide you in this business.
With your African star apple business plan, you can apply for government agricultural loans for your business. Believe me; no investor will take you seriously if you can’t provide a good business plan of your business. So, before you start this African star apple farming business make sure that you have your plan handy.
Site selection and preparation
When choosing the land for your African star apple farming, you should make sure the land is well-drained and rich in organic matter. To ascertain the drainage capacity of any piece of land, you simply dig a hole and fill it with water. The hole should be about 3m and the water should be dried out within 36 hours if the soil is well-drained.
Once you have selected the piece of land for your agbalumo farming business, the next step is to prepare the land. You will have to clear the bushes and tree stumps as well as till the ground properly. This is to ensure proper growth and development of your Agbalumo seeds when planted.
Selecting your African star apple variety
You need to know that there are different varieties or species of Udara or Agbalumo. They can be distinguished by their shapes, sizes as well as their taste. So, before venturing into African star apple farming business, you have to decide on the varieties to plant. Before now, the tree can take more than 8 years to reach maturity and start yielding fruits. There have been improved varieties of African star apple that can start yielding fruits after 3 years of planting.
How to plant star apple seeds
On how to plant agbalumo, you can decide to use the seeds or through grafting. When planting your star apple seeds, ensure that you use seeds that are not more than 4 months. You should know that the seedling grows above the ground (epigeal germination). When planting, it is advisable that you plant star apple seeds during the rainy season. This is because; the agbalumo or Udara seeds need adequate water in order to germinate. If you want to plant them during the dry season then irrigation is very essential and important.
Always buy your African star apple seedlings from trusted and recognized nurseries in Nigeria. In this way, you ensure that you buy healthy and viable star apple seeds. On how to plant Agbalumo on the field, it is no different from how you plant orange or cashew seeds.
Prune your star apple tree
As your agbalumo plants begin to grow, you should prune them so that they can produce healthy fruits. This makes them develop a very good structure which will make harvesting very easy and simple. Pruning your Udara trees will also promote higher fruit yield.
It is good to apply fertilizer to your farm as it improves soil fertility and increases output. You can choose to use organic or compost fertilizer as well as NPK to improve soil fertility.
Pest and disease control
For you to have a bountiful harvest in your African star apple farming business, you must control pest and disease infestation. Pest and diseases bring about low germination, reduction in fruit quality as well as the death of seedlings. You can control these pests and diseases through the use of good cultural practices.
How to harvest your agbalumo or udara
The African star apple is mostly harvested during the December period but the taste is not always sweet. It is far better to allow the fruit for the rain to meet it before you can harvest. You know the fruit is ready for harvest when it turns from green to yellow.
Also read: How to start grapefruit farming in Nigeria
Your marketing strategy
Once your udara tree is approaching the time for harvest, you need to adopt a good marketing strategy to sell your fruits. Although there is an already existing market in Nigeria as it is consumed in high quantity in Nigeria. You can advertise then online in order to get a larger market reach.
For your well-detailed business plan on African star apple farming or any other business niche, contact us on +2347037281050. We make your business plan available just within 2 weeks of your order.
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