Value addition on Moringa brings in more income

Blog-Picture.pubThough Moringa is consumed unprocessed in countries such as India, the Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) of South Africa is making massive profits out of assorted products produced from Moringa.

Research at ARC has proved that Moringa is 7 times the vitamin C of Orange, 10 times the vitamin A of carrot, 17 times the calcium of milk, 15 times the potassium of banana, and 25 times the iron of spinach.

The just concluded Third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD3), exposed participants on innovative research approaches leading to value addition on indigenous medicinal plants in South Africa. A field trip to ARC revealed how result-oriented research can increase income of both research institutions and household farmers through the processing of agricultural produces into a number of branded products.  One of such plants looked at during the trip on 07th April, 2016 was Moringa which is grown locally at the ARC and local farmers.

In South Africa, claims by indigenous hearers concerning healing properties by medicinal plants raise health concerns. This compels scientific research to validate the claims and preserve the medicinal plants. Under the Agro-processing department of the ARC, the team develops products out of Moringa tree scientifically known as Moringa oleifera Lam. Products ranging from Moringa food supplement tablets to Moringa Ice teas, vitamin water, Moringa Yoghurt, and Moringa Powders are produced daily for both local and international markets.

Moringa is a tree ranging in height from 5-12m with an open umbrella-shaped crown. The plant has leaflets 1-2cm in diameter and 1.5-2.5cm in length. The pods are usually 25-45 long.

From the research conducted at ARC, Leaves are extremely good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and C, minerals and sulphur-containing amino acids which is important for human and animal nutrition. Leaves are used to treat the following diseases:

  • Fever and Cough
  • Asthma
  • Blood pressure
  • Eye and ear infection
  • Diarrhea
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Wound
  • Skin infection

This result-oriented research is an eye opener to not only me as a younger agricultural entrepreneur and researcher but also to the entire research institutions in Africa who need to base their research activities on already existing local ideas. Involving local household farmers in the designing, development and implementation of research results, is the key to realize a long term sustainable agribusiness business strategy.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Hi sir I love all your explanations about moringa,i also have 1 and half hector of moringa I started planting last month, I am also planning to plant 10 hectors end of September this year,but I don’t know much about moringa and the market, kindly assist me with any information about growing and selling moringa.

    Reply

    • Thank you Siyazi. For you to be able to sell Moringa, you need to add value on it by yourself. You can begin small by packing Moringa tea bags. You need to carry out market research and promotion and sensitize people about the usefulness on Moringa. There, majority will be interested in buying your products.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Lynn Dostal on 12/07/2020 at 9:50 pm

    I started many farmers in Uganda & Kenya on growing moringa by sending seeds. They are slow to pick-up on moringa as a cash crop. I have a company in Tennessee, USA that will buy moringa. I believe it can also be sold locally in villages in Africa.

    Reply

    • Thank you Lynn for this message. This is for your information, many farmers grew moringa when they get introduced to the idea by the government through its National Agricultural Advisory Department (NAADS). When moringa got ready, farmers looked for market and failed which prompted them to cut the moringa trees. I still see some trees but are not as many as they used to be. If you still interested in Moringa from our farmers, then we need to go formal (contract farming). Now days, farmers need assurance before they get engaged. Let me know if this is something you are willing to do so I can begin to organize groups of farmers in my district.

      Reply

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