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Moringa (Moringa spp.) is one of the world’s most useful plants with one of the highest nutritional contents of any plant known in the world.
It is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree that is native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India. It is a fast-growing tree and is grown throughout the tropics. The most widely cultivated species is Moringa Oleifera, a multipurpose tree, and usually called the Miracle tree for good reason. Common names include Moringa, drumstick tree, from the appearance of the long, slender, triangular seed pods, horseradish tree, from the taste of the roots which resembles horseradish, ben oil tree or Benzoil tree, from the oil derived from the seeds. Used for human food, livestock forage, medicine, dye, and water purification. Moringa oleifera tree has been called the tree of life in many cultures around the world, including Nigeria. It has various local names in Nigeria; its names include “Ewe Igbale” in Yoruba, “Zogelle” in Hausa and “Idagbomunonye” in Igbo.
IMPORTANCE OF MORINGA
It is widely recognized for thehighly nutritious and health benefits derivable from the different parts of the plant: the leaves, seeds, and the roots.There is an increased awareness of the multiple uses of Moringa leaves for both domestic and industrial purposes leading to an increased demand for it.It is estimated that at least 300 diseases can be cured by taking this supplement along with hundreds of other health benefits, thanks to its more than 90 nutrients, 46 different antioxidants, and all eight essential amino acids.
Health benefits: Here is a more in-depth look at the health benefits of Moringa leaves, stem, root, and seeds.
Industrial uses of Moringa Oil
a) Low availability of feed during the dry season, which extends from December through May.
b) Lack of capacity for pasturing animals as farmers generally own small areas and these are typically not well worked or managed.
c) Nutritional imbalances caused by a lack of access to proteins, carbohydrates and minerals
Here is a nutritional breakdown of Fresh Moringa Leaves:
Moringa leaves when dried become a even greater, powerhouse of nutrition containing:
All elements except the Vitamin C is increased when you dry the leaves in the shade. Drying the leaves in direct sunlight decreases its nutritional values.
Moringa trees grow easily from seeds or cuttings.It is a fast growing tree and has been found to grow to 6 – 7 m in one year in areas receiving less than 400 mm mean annual rainfall and its low demand for soil nutrients and water after being planted make its production and management easy. It can be planted using either plant cutting or seed propagation. Pruned branches gotten from mature branches are excellent for growing new trees; planting with seed are usually done directly to its intended area due to its fragile nature.
Harvesting: Moringa leaves can be harvested at any time once trees are established. Selected branches are trimmed leaving some for the next harvest or seed production. The entire tree back can also be cut to a height of about 2m during the raining season to allow recovery before the dry season.
Products developed from Moringa
Extracting the oil from Moringa
Potential of Moringa plant
Moringa looks set to become one of the fastest growing cash crops coming out of the African continent as world food prices soar and the global nutritional recession begins to take hold.
The global Moringa Products market estimated to be over US$ 4 billion is highly dependent on Indiawhich supplies about 80% of the demand of Moringa products and thereby enjoying dominant position in the world.
Due to a combination of its versatility, fast growth cycle, hardiness & it’s largely unrivalled nutritional and medicinal properties Moringa is rapidly becoming the favorite means by which to solve many of the food scarcity issues which have blighted many parts of Africa for many years and with the west facing the emergence of similar issues the potential for Moringa as an export is growing.
Also, there is increase awareness of its amazing health usage in Orthodox medicine. It played a significant role in maintaining human health and improving the quality of human life for thousands of years and has valuable components of medicines, seasonings, beverages, cosmetics and dyes. This has significantly resulted in increase market demand for the product locally.
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 (Ferrao and Ferrao, 1970; Ramachandran et al., 1980)
 Courtesy: http://edengroupfarmers.com/product.html