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Apple Production Farms

Product Description:

Growing apple trees in the home garden or as agro foresting production system can be financially rewarding. There are several varieties of apple to be considered for selection before planting for successful apple production. The four major varieties which dominate the world production are red delicious, Golden delicious, Rome beauty and galas. Apple fruits are round in shape with juicy flesh and skin, green, red or yellow in color. An apple’s primary nutritional benefit is in the pectin and fiber. Apples contain as much as fiber as whole cereals. They also contain chemicals that play a role in prevention of certain cancers and heart diseases.


Apples provide bulk in the diet for the proper functioning of the body’s digestive and regulatory systems. Pectin and hemicelluloses and the acid-base ratio contribute to this pectin and mild acids help fight body toxins, aid digestion and pep up the whole body system. Apples are rich in pectin. Pectin has been associated with helping to keep cholesterol levels in balance and in this connection it is felt to be significant in helping to reduce the incidence of certain types of heart diseases. The high potassium, low sodium ratio in apples is also important in certain cardiac and  renal problems as well as in diet for over weight persons. Some studies have indicated that persons eating apples regularly have fewer headaches and other illness associated with nervous tension. Other studies have also shown an association of regular apple consumption with a reduced incidence of colds and other upper respiratory sickness. Apple juice is also preferred for infant due to its mid nature and low acid content. In general, apples contain modest amount of nearly all of the most important nutrients. They have universally accepteel flavor, appeal, versatility and convenience for use. They can also be available through out the year due to their long shelf life. They are good for teeth, stomach, skin, nerves, smiles and good health.

Market Potential:

Most apples produced in the world are packed and sold fresh, some are produced for the processing market for apple juice production. Apple production in Ethiopia in general and in the Amhara region in particular mainly will play an import substitution role. Most apple consumption of the country are satisfied through imports. Hence, domestic markets will be the main sales outlets for the Amhara Region’s apple production. In the long run as production grows international markets are still very significant due the potential of higher returns, but require higher quality. Red delicious and Rome beauty apples have the largest share in the world market. In recent years organic food production has been growing drastically on the world market. In this in the highlands of the Amhara Region can easily produce organic apple and get higher return per unit of land than producing grain crops. 


Source of Raw Material:

Trellis material tape and twine, free training material, mulching material compost, fertilizer, chemicals, beehives for  cross pollination are required for the process of apple production which are available locally. The only material that is not locally available in sufficient quantity and quality is apple tree seedlings. Seedlings or good nursery sources should be identified from major apple producing countries eg. USA Europ, Asia etc. But pilot project could start with seedlings from Arba Minch. When buying apple trees (seedlings) they must be of recommended varieties from a reliable source. The seedlings must be 1 year old with vigorous root system. Small agricultural tools such spale, rakes, disks, auger, mower, sprayers etc are required. Roots on the loose soil making sure they are not twisted or crowded in the hole. As you cover the roots press and make firm the soil to be sure it surrounds the roots and to remove air pockets. Do not add fertilizer at planting time as the root can be burned. When you have finished planting the tree water well to eliminate air pockets and provide good contact between the roots and the soil.

Apple trees requires pruning for better and faster production. Proper training and pruning of fruit trees is essential to the development of a strong tree framework that will support fruit production. Properly shaped trees will yield high quality fruit much sooner and will live significantly longer. Regular pruning and training will also maximize light penetration to the developing flower buds and fruits. Apple trees often set  a heavier crop of fruits than the branch (limbs) can withstand. To ensure good fruit size, to return bloom for the following year, and to prevent tree breakage, it is necessary to thin the fruit
Adequate tree nutrition is essential for quality apple production. To maintain the required level of nutrition status, follow the fertilization guidelines provided by the soil test. Controlling weeds and grasses around young apple trees minimizes competition for soil nutrients and moisture, en coverage vigorous tree growth and increases fruit size. Avoid mechanical weed cultivation. 

Production Process and Technology:

Apple tree growing can be rewarding for both small scale farmers as well as commercial growers. Several factors are important to be considered for a successful apple production. Apple variety and root stock, site selection, proper planting, training and pruning, adequate fertility, and pest control contribute to healthy and productive trees.

Well-drained, sandy loam with a PH below 6.5 is best.  Finer-textured-loamy clay soils will suffice if they are well drained. An elevated slope or hilltop is best to minimize frost damages. Good quality irrigation water should be available for moisture stress period. Fencing the site is advisable to protect from animal damage. Apple trees require full sun and big trees shade should be avoided.Land should be well prepared for planting the apple trees. One year old nursery trees with good root systems should be ready. To plant the apple trees, first dig a hole 60 cm deep and sufficiently wide for the diameter of the root system. Place some of the loose soil back in to the hole and loosen the soil on the wall of the planting hole so the roots can easily penetrate the soil. Spread the roots to protect shallow root damages. Good sanitation practices are necessary to control pest problems. Diseases and insects can cause serious damage to apple frees and fruits. A regular spray program is essential for high fruit quality and healthy trees. Apples reach maturity at different times, depending on variety and climate. When apple fruits’ skin color changes from green to yellow it indicates maturity and it will be crisp and juicy with pleasant taste if one takes a bite. Proper storage conditions help prolong the shelf-life apple. Depending on the conditions of storage, apples can be stored up to 12 months. 

Estimated Investment:

Investment in apple orchard or home garden production is an entirely new experience which will require a new concerted effort to establish cost parameters. Based on other apple growing countries experience, investment in a commercial farm could be estimated in the rage of Birr 30,000 to Birr 35,000 per hectare. The investment items include farm machinery, small farm tools, land development building constructions and storage equipment and facilities, cold trucks and transport vehicles.

Project Profile attached below!!!


Apple production in the Amhara Region will save foreign exchange by substituting imported apples. Apples contain most important food nutrients and are good for health. Apple production is a labour intensive, hence will create employment opportunity throughout the year. Apple production can initiate apple juice processing industries. It can also generate income to all stakeholders.


The highland areas of the Amhara Region with altitudes 2500-3500 m can be considered suitable for apple production. The highland of North Gonder, South Gonder, East Gojjam, North Shewa zones could be considered.


Moges Ashagrie,
Apr 30, 2011, 10:16 AM