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- The moringa tree has its origins in the northern regions of India. In Africa, two types are grown, moringa oleifera and moringa stenopetala (Lekgau, undated). The moringa tree is considered one of the most nutritious trees in the world since it has vitamins, minerals and amino acids which the human body requires for health.
- The leaves can be used to make moringa juice or tea. They can also be cooked like spinach, or dried and processed into moringa powder. The powder has many uses which include being used as a nutritional additive in soup, porridge and drinks.
- The seeds can be used to produce seedlings, processed into moringa oil (called Ben oil) and in certain communities, to purify water.
- In addition to human consumption, it can be used to feed livestock, and has industrial uses which includes a biofuel.
- Several projects listed in this chapter came about as a way to stimulate rural development and to address malnutrition. Farming with moringa is a way to create economic activity and jobs. A look through company websites like www.moringa5000.co.za, www.moringaplussa.org and www.kombuchagreentea.co.za will illustrate many of the different products, while the various articles and other sources will introduce the reader to its adaption as a crop, while noting the reported medicinal benefits and nutritious value.
|Moringa powder. Photo used courtesy of Errol Moloto.|
|Moringa tree. Photo used courtesy of Errol Moloto.|
2. For the newcomer
The NAMC document (Lekgau - see heading 5) includes notes on cultivation. The Lammangata Moringa project case study in the second section is also valuable as it sets out the growth path and fruition of a moringa enterprise.
3. National strategy and government contact
- Along with notes on their involvement, the website www.mdasa.org/projects provides contact details for the following institutions: Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Agriculture, Department of Rural development and Land Reform, Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry and the Gauteng Department of Economic Growth and Development.
- The Industrial Action Policy Plans (IPAPs) make provision for the establishment of a pilot agri-business hub (find the document on www.thedti.gov.za). One of the deliverables is a moringa processing plant (along with chicken abattoir and vegetable packhouse).
- Moringa features in the Department of Science and Technology’s Bio-economy Strategy.
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