The Malay apple, a unique and exotic tropical fruit, has found its way into Nigeria, captivating taste buds and gaining popularity among both young and old. Originally hailing from the Indo-Malayan region, this majestic fruit thrives in the lush lowlands and forests of Southeast Asia.

The Malay apple tree is a sight to behold, admired for its stunning flowers and glistering, colorful fruits. Today, you can find these trees flourishing in various states across Nigeria, enhancing the beauty of homes, gardens, and farms.

If you’re considering growing Malay apple in Nigeria, here’s what you need to know:

  • Climate and Soil: Malay apple is strictly tropical and intolerant of frost or cold temperatures. It thrives best in regions with year-round rainfall, but it can also tolerate seasonal rain as long as there are no extended dry periods. Ensure that the soil is well-drained and rich in organic matter to support healthy growth.
  • Planting: Malay apple trees can be planted in homes, gardens, and farms. Choose a sunny spot with adequate protection from strong winds. The tree’s prolific nature will reward you with approximately two thousand apples per tree per harvest, yielding two to three harvests annually when fully mature.
  • Nutrient-Rich and Medicinal: Beyond its delicious taste, the Malay apple boasts remarkable health benefits. The flesh of the apple contains epicatechin, which contributes to lowering high blood pressure and detoxifying the body. Its rich fiber content aids in resolving constipation, while its high water content helps in hydration. Additionally, it contains essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin A and C, which promote clearer vision and prevent skin cancer.
  • Utilization: The ripe Malay apple is a delightful treat, enjoyed raw with its thin skin and crisp, white flesh. Slightly unripe fruits can be used for making jelly and pickles, while processing them can result in red and white table wines. You can also create sweet jams and preserves from ripe apples or chop raw pieces for use in fruit salads and salsas. The young leaves and shoots, before turning green, can be consumed raw with rice or cooked as greens.
  • Health and Medicinal Uses: The Malay apple has been traditionally used in various regions for medicinal purposes. In Malaysia, the powder from dried leaves is employed on a cracked tongue, and a preparation of the root is a remedy for itching and swelling. In Cambodia, the roots, leaves, and seeds are used to allay fever, while in Brazil, different parts of the Malay apple tree serve as remedies for constipation, diabetes, coughs, headaches, catarrh, and other ailments.

With the knowledge of its remarkable health benefits and versatility, growing Malay apple in Nigeria can be a rewarding venture. Embrace the wonders of this tropical gem and embark on a journey of cultivating this exquisite fruit in your very own backyard.

About the Author:

Gbenga Akinyemi is a dedicated agricultural expert with a background in Crop Production and experience at the Nigerian Institute for Oilpalm Research (NIFOR). Having taught Agricultural Science and managed a catfish and Oilpalm production farm, he is currently pioneering Malay apple farming in Nigeria since 2008.

For more information or to explore the world of Malay apples, feel free to reach out to Gbenga Akinyemi via WhatsApp at +234 915 088 7543 or email at akinyemi1972@yahoo.com.