Friday, July 16, 2010
The Various Uses of Moringa Oleifera. Moringa was well known to the ancient world, but only recently has it been “rediscovered” as a multi-purpose tree with a tremendous variety of potential uses. A lot of people are asking for the Yoruba name of the plant, moringa is not a native plant but is being called ‘igi iyanu; because of its many medicinal uses. Moringa is a plant for now and for the future, a moringa plantation can provide jobs for hundreds of Nigerians.
A plot of land using planting spacing of 3meters by 3meters will take about 100 stands and from a personal survey, 100 stands after 6 months can generate an income of N120,000 monthly from the powdered leaves. Moringa Tea can also be a good product from your moringa trees. I advice that every reader of this column should order for their moringa seedlings as CUAD unfolds more local and export potential of moringa oleifera. Let us learn more on the uses of this wonderful tree.
Production rates within 3 years of planting one tree will produce 300 to 400 pods every year and a mature tree can produce up to 1,000 pods. Frequent pruning of the growth tips will maintain and increase leaf growth and the height can be controlled to make harvesting easier.
The pleasant-tasting edible oil which can be extracted from the seeds was highly valued by the ancient Roman, Greek and Egyptian civilizations for use in making perfume and in protecting skin, and during the 19th century Moringa oleifera plantations in the West Indies were exporting the oil (known as Ben oil) to Europe for use in making perfumes and as a lubricant for fine machinery.
In the Indian sub-continent Moringa has long been cultivated for its edible fruit; today these are exported, fresh and in tins, to consumers in Asia and Europe . The edible leaves of the tree are very nutritious and are consumed throughout West Africa as well as in some parts of Asia . Powder from seed kernels works as a natural coagulant which can clarify even very turbid water, removing up to 99% of the bacteria in the process.