Moringa farming, agro-processing and sales may be one of the ways to help grow the economy of the country.
Moringa is a tree that provides nutritious leaves, seeds and roots. The entire tree is edible and can also be used in cosmetics.
A three-day conference in Pretoria has been held to consider the potential of Moringa to help solve the world’s nutrition problems.
Maboang Matlou, a Moringa farmer at Bosplaas, in the Moretele Local Municipality, says, “Now, when I say Moringa production, we do from farm to fork or farm to table. So, we do the whole value chain. We grow the seeds. We do the maintenance. We do the transplanting. We maintain again. When the trees have grown to a certain level we harvest. We pick. We dry and then they bring the dry product for agro processing. Agro processing means we take raw material, manufacture it into something else. Now, at Lefakong, currently the focus is on tea, powder, capsules and we do some health salts. We just finished formulating a gin, which will be available probably in the next three to four weeks.”
Conference convener Ashwell Ndhlala, from the Agricultural Research Centre in Pretoria, says, “We have now learnt how other people are growing it and how they are processing it, which is a bit different from how we are doing it. So, there is that chance that we can also adopt some of what they are doing to our own planting and processing. One of the things that I learnt is what we call hiding seed planting. We have never practised it here in South Africa. That is where you grow the plants very close to each other like vegetables and you just harvest them while they are still tender and young.”