The trailblazing apple tree went viral recently after its photos were posted on Facebook by one Barima Nana Osei Bonsu with a caption: “The young girl who planted the seed died five years ago, that’s the family attached to the picture. Unless proven otherwise, five years after cultivation… that’s the tree in the picture as well. WIAMOASE-Tanosi, ASHANTI.”
It has now come to light that the lady identified as Nana Ama Asantewaa who planted the apple tree out of curiosity died sadly five years ago.
Reports say she damned the perception that the fruit is an exotic breed and does not grow in Ghana and curiously planted the seed and kept nurturing it before her sad demise after falling ill.
Nana Osei Bonsu who first posted a picture of the Apple Tree with the hanging fruits told Starr News the late Asantewaa was concerned about the welfare of her parents.
“She died five years ago. A few years after planting the seed she fell ill. She was concerned about how the family was going to live because they are poor so the family believes this is her way of helping them,” he told Francis Abban Monday.
Osei Bonsu added Agric extension officers are heading to the area to study the nuances around the fruit and if it could be grown in other areas of the country.
The perception has always been that apples only grow in temperate zones and cannot survive in Ghana or Africa due to the hot temperature that prevail here.
In 1870, Tetteh Quarshie undertook a voyage to the Spanish colony Fernando Po (now Bioko in Equatorial Guinea). About six years later he returned to Ghana with several cocoa beans (the Amelonado) and made history. The export of cocoa from Ghana began in 1891, and the official export in 1893 (two bags exported). Now, cocoa is the major export crop of the Ghanaian economy.
If it is found out that the Ghanaian soils are capable of supporting the cultivation of apples, the scare and expensive fruit may become one of its major export crops just like cocoa.