Moringa is an ancient superfood that currently saves hundreds of thousands of Africans from starvation each year.
The word ‘Moringa’ is derived from ‘murungai’, the Tamil word for drumstick, which is what the tree’s seeds resemble. The Moringa tree is drought-resistant, easy to cultivate and superbly multipurposed, as nearly all its parts can be consumed or used. This unassuming plant has well-documented value as a food source of superior nutritional value, and in past two decades, it has been implemented to help stop starvation in Africa. Of the 13 species, Moringa oleifera is the most widely cultivated across the world. Its original home is in the Himalayas, Western India, but it has joined the native species in Africa to great effect. Today it is nourishing hundreds of thousands, with many tapping into the income opportunity of its cultivation.
Church World Service (CWS), West Africa
The CWS, a relief-ministry from the USA, is probably the current greatest Moringa proponent in West Africa. The organization is well-known for its pioneering work in hunger alleviation in Africa, and recognized the value of Moringa supplementation as a way to alleviate malnutrition and starvation associated with poverty. The CWS invested in the trees’ cultivation in West Africa, and, circa 2001, it obtained approximately 70 acres of land for this purpose. A farm was created for intensive production of leaf powder. Dr. Lowell Fuglie, West Africa director and representative of CWS recently stated that Moringa is offering four times more benefit to undernourished people than other dietary aids.
CEIN and ME Moringa Farm, Kenya
CEIN, a community-based organization operating in the Kakamega County of western Kenya, is heading a project that assists HIV positive groups to plant 25,000 Moringa trees on their farms. The project aims to alleviate poverty, diversify products, promote forestation and improve the health of the community with Moringa supplementation. Training Moringa farmers is also a priority. .Hailing from a business background, Manfred Schmidt spotted not only a business opportunity, but also experienced Moringa’s magical healing powers first hand during a holiday in Kenya with his wife, Jeanne Yockbag. This was over a decade ago. Impressed with the plant’s healing properties, Manfred and Jeanne decided to introduce the benefits of Moringa to everybody in the world. Now, the thirty two-acre organic ME Moringa farm in Msambweni, Kenya, is exporting 80% of its produce to European and US markets. They share and educate the surrounding communities while also promoting forestation.
Moringa King, Ghana
Ben Ajufo was also first bowled over by Moringa leaf when it healed his hypertension at age 35. Inspired, he developed a Moringa drink with pineapple juice, and delivered the products to his clients by taxi in the beginning. Today his business is as healthy as the drink he sells, and is expanding to neighboring countries and Europe.