Whenever the word “apple” is mentioned in Nigeria, it is usually the imported apples from South Africa, Europe, the US or the white and pink in colour local apple that readily comes to the mind of anyone here in Nigeria.
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As an agronomist or graduate of crop production, l never knew that a unique tropical apple existed in Nigeria until 2005 in the month of July to be precise that l saw and touched for the first time a distinct, glistering and an amazing tropical apple variety at Okota, lsolo, Lagos.
Different thoughts and questions started running through my mind from then and in August 2008, the pioneering work on this tropical apple as new knowledge in the field of crop production and a potential apple business concept started.
Malay apple, a relatively new and unique tropical apple variety from Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, but now produced in Lagos, Ogun, Kaduna, Enugu, Kogi, Bayelsa amongst other states in Nigeria.
It was introduced to Nigeria over fifty (50) years ago from my research findings. It is the biggest apple type in the world. It has a sweet-sour taste, over 90% juice content or moisture per apple and with high fibre content. Inside each Malay apple are a big oblate and brown colour seed.
Malay apple is highly nutritious and medicinal. This is evident in the nutrient composition and several traditional applications of the seeds, roots, leaves etc.
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It comes in three (3) major colours – red, green and white/cream. The common type in Nigeria now is the red type. It has thee (3) different shapes – oblong, obovoid and bell. It is organically produced in Nigeria without the use of chemicals to the best of my knowledge for now.
The massive production of the Malay apple in Nigeria will boost local fruit production; make available fresh apples for consumption without any chemical preservative for wholesome health benefits; to help reduce Nigeria’s bill on imported apples; as a wealth creation option in the areas of production and processing into valuable products such table wine, jam, marmalade, juice, cider etc for local consumption and export; and to create job opportunities for graduates of agriculture and other relevant disciplines.
Health Benefits Of Malay Apple
- The vitamin A in Malay apple helps your eyesight become clearer and sharper. The content of vitamin C and other minerals will prevent you from diseases such as skin cancer.
- The Fibre in Malay apple is good for the digestive system of the body. It eases defecation.
- The Iron in this apple will help your bones become stronger, so you do not worry about osteoporosis or other bone problems.
- With a lot of minerals and vitamins, Malay apple will increase the antioxidant in your body, so you will be healthier to fight against any disease.
- Malay apple has several traditional medicinal applications. In Brazil, healers make plant remedies to allay cough, diabetes, headache, constipation and catarrh.
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