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The province of Nampula is hoping to produce moringa in commercial quantities for subsequent sale in the American, European and Asian markets.
The leaves of the moringa tree have anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and cardioprotective properties, and are high in vitamins and minerals.
The moringa production project is being developed over one thousand hectares in the Ilha de Moçambqiue and Mossuril districts by MoSagri, a Dutch company.
In its first year of activity, the company has invested about 165 million meticais in production of the crop, which is used in the pharmaceutical and food industries. MoSagri employs 228 workers, of whom about 200 are seasonal, and has currently cleared and prepared 170 hectares of land, of which 130 have been planted.
According to Arlindo Mendonça, head of the agricultural at Mossuril-based MoSagri, moringa can be harvested at 35-day intervals, with average annual production of 10,000 tons of leaf.
Mendonça said that current production volumes are considered reasonable, taking into account that the projections for the future show the exploitation of the total area granted to the project.
MoSagri plans to build in a processing unit Naguema, Mossuril district, to turn the moringa into pharmaceuticals and food supplements, the latter for the domestic market.
Company founder Hugo Stam says that moringa sales are virtually guaranteed, given the market for organic agricultural products, and that MoSagri has signed long-term supply agreements.
Stam says that the price of moringa in the international market is currently high, and looks set to remain so for many years given that scientists, particularly in the pharmaceutical and food industries, are making efforts to find drugs for treating disease and malnutrition.
Another perspective on the moringa project is its contribution to the treatment of chronic malnutrition especially in the province’s under-five children, about 42 percent of whom suffer from it.
“In partnership with the government we will involve, initially, Lúrio University, which teaches courses on nutrition, education and community awareness about the benefits of moringa consumption to health,” Stam explains.
Ilha de Moçambique and Mossuril have high rates of unemployment, and MoSagri plans to implement a moringa culture development model to empower local communities. Crops will be marketed by a sponsor company.Source: Notícias /TVM