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CSIR finally confirms growth of apple at Atimatim Taaboum in the Ashanti region

The Crop Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has ended the uncertainty about whether or not Ghana’s soils and temperature can support the growth of apple.

CSIR finally confirms growth of apple at Atimatim Taaboum in the Ashanti region

The centre has confirmed the existence of an apple tree at Atimatim Taaboum in the Ashanti region following recent reports of an apple tree growing at Wiamoase in the Sekyere South District of the Ashanti Region which later turned out to be a fig tree.

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The CSIR in a publication said the apple tree is part of a trial being conducted by Mr Edward Akwasi Fosu, a Ghanaian who resides in Belgium.

Out of 10 apple seedlings brought to Ghana in 2016 and planted in a house at Atimatim-Taaboum near the Janet Educational Complex by Mr Fosu, only one plant survived due to a lack of space.

"It is reported that the plants started fruiting two (2) years after planting in Ghana. The narrative showed that the seedlings were generated from cuttings. It is also reported that all but one of the plants were destroyed after the three years into the experiment due to lack of space in the house. This single plant has been subjected to various treatments over the years. The final treatment was scheduled for March, 2020 but had to be postponed due to the covid-19 pandemic. It is hoped that, the final treatment will be done as soon as possible to allow the fruits to grow to the edible size," the CSIR said in a publication.

A team of research scientists (horticulturists) from the Institute including; Mr Beloved Mensah Dzomeku, Mr Asamoah Adjei and Mr Kwaku Asumadu of the CSIR-Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (CSIR-FORIG), Kumasi ascertained the veracity of the apple trial, Graphic.com.gh reports.

A physical inspection of the plant and the use of the PlantSnap mobile app indicated that the plant was edible apple Malus Domestica.

"Our visit revealed apple growing in the house and the team also observed numerous branches from a single plant with few fruits. On site, the leaves and the fruits were subjected to the mobile app PlantSnapand the results indicated that the plant was edible apple Malus Domestica. The leaves are simple and serrated with net venation. The leaves are about 0.2mm in thickness The fruits were averagely 26.8mm in diameter transversely and 18.0mm thick longitudinally.

"Transverse and longitudinal sections through the immature fruits revealed all the features of apple (Malus domestica). Hence, the team can confidently say that indeed apple is growing in the vicinity," CSIR added.

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