Moringa Oleifera belongs to the Moringaceae family and stands out widely in terms of cultivation among other species due to its multi-purpose use. Moringa Oliefera is a native of Northern India, however, the tree plant is today having a widespread across Asian regions, America, Africa, Europe and Oceania (Oliveira et al., 1999; Fahey, 2005).
Notwithstanding, its cultivation recently has gained world recognition for its tremendous impact on society as it does not only serve as a source of nutrition but contribute to the socio-economic growth of communities and emerging economies. Research from the scientific community indicates that Moringa has the potency to improve food security, condense malnutrition and desertification. Globally, there are sprouting food supplements in the market with Moringa as the main ingredient.
Prospects to Climate Change
The world is not at its normal times, the impact of climate change is rising likewise COVID-19 pandemic hitting hard on the economic growth of countries. Antonio Guterres-UN Secretary-General at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 indicated a need for nations to build the resilience of vulnerable communities against now impacts of climate change. Climate impacts are intense across continents and therefore necessitates a rapid adaption to save lives and livelihoods. According to Selwin Hart-special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Climate Action, climate adaption builds on the resilience of people, communities and businesses to the galloping impacts of climate change. Thus, to mean, a nation that experiences frequent drought, floods etc. need to prepare local communities, invest in early warning systems and undertake interventions to sufficiently manage disasters. Ghana in 2021 experienced several devastating floods that took many lives, destroy major road networks, farmlands, houses and businesses. Recently in the Keta Municipality of Ghana, 3,000 people were rendered homeless due to a tidal waves disaster. The situation has rendered the need for farmers to build the necessary mitigation and adaption momentum to absorb climate shocks. Relatively, farmers indigenous crop – Moringa Oleifera is the well-known crop for climate change mitigation due to its peak level of adaptation coupled with nutritional, medicinal, agricultural, domestic and industrial values. Moringa can increase the capacity of carbon sinks through its ability to adapt to the soil, weather, and environmental variations. Moringa tree can absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) fifty times (50x) higher when compared to the Japanese cedar tree and also twenty times (20x) higher than that of general vegetation(Villafuerte LR, 2009). Therefore, Moringa the “Never Die” plant should never be overlooked in today’s battle on climate mitigation and adaption. Investing in the value chain of Moringa could path an unparalleled opportunity to address all forms of malnutrition across Africa and the world at large.
Prospects to People’s Livelihood
Moringa is among the underutilized crops basket and plays a pivotal role in issues of climate change and livelihood. Underutilized crops are also known as an orphan or disadvantaged crops refer to crops with little research, however, are seen to be resilient, fit adapted to the needs of farmers in marginal agricultural environments as well have the potential to reduce food and nutrition insecurity, improve the income level of farmers in Africa (Massawe et al., 2015).
Naturally, people within the poor category are likely to suffer different forms of malnutrition. This concludes the notion that poverty habitually amplifies the risk of malnutrition among many. Both local and international organizations are thriving efforts to curb the alarming rate of undernourishment. For instance; the World Vegetable Center and the International Society for Horticultural Science has promoted the use of healthy vegetables like Moringa Oleifera for alleviating poverty and malnutrition due to its high content of proteins, vitamins, amino acids (Drew, 2017). Considerably, Moringa products provide a one-stop valuable nutrient source to solve malnutrition especially among infants, children, pregnant women. According to world nutritionists and researchers, the Moringa plant has the rightful nutritional composition to support pro-poor people in need of dietary supplements.
Some attributes of Moringa Oleifera.
- Moringa is a standout sustainable crop as it can serve as natural pest control and supports sustainable farming.
- Support rural communities in terms of sustainable farming, and a great source of nutrition
- Moringa grows quickly and does not require many inputs
- Support the growth of the local economy in terms of job creation
- Moringa aid in sustaining the environment through carbon sequestration. It can absorb 20 times higher than general vegetation.
- Extracts from Moringa can be used as bio-fertilizers to boost plants growth
One meal at a time with Moringa green leaves does not only improve your nutrition but contributes to the sustenance of our Environment. Moringa Oleifera is the gateway to food and nutrition security in Africa!
Drew, R. A. (2017). Collaboration between ISHS, GHI and the World Vegetable Center in response to world poverty and malnutrition and the role of moringa as a nutrient rich food. Acta Horticulturae, 1158, 11–14. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1158.2
Fahey, J. (2005). Moringa oleifera: A Review of the Medical Evidence for Its Nutritional, Therapeutic, and Prophylactic Properties. Part 1. Trees for Life Journal, 1–15.
Massawe, F. J., Mayes, S., Cheng, A., Chai, H. H., Cleasby, P., Symonds, R., Ho, W. K., Siise, A., Wong, Q. N., Kendabie, P., Yanusa, Y., Jamalluddin, N., Singh, A., Azman, R., & Azam-Ali, S. N. (2015). The Potential for Underutilised Crops to Improve Food Security in the Face of Climate Change. Procedia Environmental Sciences, 29(Agri), 140–141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proenv.2015.07.228
Oliveira, J. T. A., Silveira, S. B., Vasconcelos, I. M., Cavada, B. S., & Moreira, R. A. (1999). Compositional and nutritional attributes of seeds from the multiple purpose tree Moringa oleifera Lamarck. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 79(6), 815–820. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-0010(19990501)79:6<815::AID-JSFA290>3.0.CO;2-P
Villafuerte LR, V.-A. L. (2009). Data taken from the Forestry Agency of Japan in Moringa. Apples of Gold Publishing.