How to Start a Bell Apple Business in Nigeria

Selling locally produced bell apples is a very lucrative niche market. Growing them in Nigeria is even rare because not many people know they grow easily in certain geographical locations.  
A single tree can produce huge number of fruits and once established require low maintenance. The fruit attracts good price in the market because it is a rare delicacy.
Interestingly we had a bell apple tree at the back of our family house which we named monkey apple. We did not plant it and suspect that the seeds were dropped by birds. After years of enjoying the fruits we cut the tree and today a guava tree stands in its place.
bell apple
Starting a Bell Apple Business
The business comes with its own set of challenges. Birds and bats love the fruits so they can consume an entire tree. Other difficulties include low rainfall, sacristy of the seedlings. Once the fruit is harvested it should be sold or eaten in a few days or it spoils.
  • Birds and bats eat the fruits
  • Need adequate rainfall
  • sacristy of the seedlings
  • high mortality of fruits after harvest
Business Opportunity
There are some opportunities in bell apple production. They can be processed into products such as wines, jam, juice and marmalade. You could organize seminars and earn huge money teaching others the business. There is also a good market for bell apple concentrates.
Products and Opportunities
  • Production of wines
  • Jam
  • Juice
  • Marmalade
  • You could organize seminars
  • Good market for bell apple concentrates
  • Sell seedlings
Purchase/lease Farm Land
To start the business you need farm land. You can either buy or lease the land. It is better to purchase the land so you own the trees. Agricultural land is cheep and you can purchase acres.
Bell Apple Seedlings
You need to purchase the seedlings from a farmer. You need 160 seedlings per acre at the cost of N100 per seedling. Therefore production of 100 seedlings for three months comes to N20, 000 naira.  The cost of 160 seedlings for a plantation can be estimated at N160, 000 - N200, 000 naira.
The Market
The fruits native origin is Malaysia so there are only a handful of farmers in Nigeria. There is a market for the fruits, pre-germinated seeds, seeds and seedlings.
The farmer tends to make 100% of investment every season once the tree matures. It takes about three years for the plant to grow into full maturity. Seedling producers earn much quicker within six months.
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