In April 2019 we started the apple tree project for Lutindi. Apples are a very expensive foodstuff in Tanzania and therefore we decided to start this project on our own.
For the Primary School we ordered 24 apple trees (in three different varieties), which were planted on the school grounds at the beginning of August 2019. In addition, another 6 trees were planted on the premises of the Lutindi Mental Hospital, one of our most important local cooperation partners. Not only the whole village was on its feet on the planting day. Regional politicians from Korogwe and important public figures came to attend the planting campaign.
After the first planting had started well and all trees had survived the storm at the end of 2019, we ordered 60 more trees, almost all of which found a tree sponsor from the MSV Duisburg fans. In total, 50 more trees of different species could be planted on the grounds of the primary school and 10 trees on the grounds of the Lutindi Mental Hospital. The later harvest is intended to serve as an important food supplement for the pupils and patients of the hospital.
In addition, this project also has an educational aspect, as the children will take over the personal tree sponsorships (care, irrigation, harvesting) in agreement between us and the local school management. Keyword responsibility! Lutindi is therefore one of the very few locations in Tanzania where apple trees have been planted. In a few years a stately grove will be standing here.
The pictures of both planting campaigns speak for themselves.To enlarge please click
But it was not as easy as the project sounds. First, varieties had to be found that do not require a frost period for annual flowering and thus fruit formation. But frost and snow in the Tanzanian Usambara mountains are not what one finds climatically there.
In Europe, we did not find any in the search for such varieties. In California, however, there is a nursery that specializes in breeding suitable and sufficiently resistant trees for the tropics and subtropics.
With Kevin, owner of the California nursery “Kuffel Creek”, we made contact with our current Tanzanian supplier “Tamu Tamu Apple”. “Tamu Tamu Apple” clarified the ideal blend of climates in the Usambara Mountains. Our ZAC founding member Martin Osing, himself a horticulturist, helped us ask the right questions at “Tamu Tamu Apple”.
Our colleague, Ombeni, attended a two-day training course at the Tanzanian tree nursery shortly before delivery to teach him the basics of planting and cultivating apple trees.
The ZAC e.V. was able to find a tree sponsor for each apple tree to refinance this special project, to whom we are very attached for their donation.