Apples in Ethiopia

Saw this great report on Growing Apples in Tropical Mountain Conditions in Northern Ethiopia as chronicled in Cambridge Journals.  An excellent scholarly work that answers a lot of questions, but also poses many.  I can think of some variables that they did not consider, such as using a more vigorous rootstock than the M9 they used, and also the narrow time frame given the project.  Fuji takes about 5 years to stablize and adapt to a warm climate, and the blossom period will become more compact in time.

They also focused on apples currently marketed with high demand, and had a very narrow selection for trials.  I would do the same experiment with at least 50 varities that have been tested in a warm climate (gee, where would they find those?…)  Good color was mentioned, but Fuji has lousy color even in a cold climate.  They used Dormex to encourage bud burst, something that cannot be used in many remote places of Africa (its nasty stuff too).

All in all a worthy effort but I think much more work needs to be done, and I think we can help.


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