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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  18 Sep 2009

Food and Health: The Miracle Tree is Unveiled

 





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Lammangata Moringa and the University of Fort Hare will announce the results of a scientific nutritional analysis of Limpopo-variety Moringa Oleifera leaves at Sedikong sa Lerato Drop-in Centre Tooseng village, GaMphalele, Limpopo province On Friday 16 October 2009.

Personal testimonies about the benefits of consuming Moringa will be shared by local people, and Lammangata will provide educational briefings on personal nutrition and information on the properties of Moringa and how to consume it.

Lammangata Moringa was officially launched in March 2009 in the rural area of GaMphahlele, Limpopo with the aim of harnessing the nutritional and healing power of the Moringa treeto stem malnutrition and alleviate food insecurity in economically disadvantaged communities in South Africa. So far, over 300 families and child-care projects have received their own Moringa seedlings.

Mavis Mathabatha, founder of Sedikong sa Lerato, says using Moringa tree products has already reduced malnutrition amongst the 350 orphaned and vulnerable children which the organization supports.

"Before we started, malnutrition was very prevalent," she said. "But since we've started adding Moringa to the children's food, we've seen remarkable results.”

Many people have called Moringa Oleifera the miracle tree, because of its remarkable nutritional and healing properties. Now, for the first time, the benefits of Moringa are being made available from a local source to the people of South Africa.The leaves of Moringa Oleifera are loaded with essential nutrients, Moringa leaves possess more vitamin C than oranges, more vitamin A than carrots, more iron than roast beef and more protein than milk.

“Most village families rarely consume protein-rich meats and vitamin-rich vegetables,” says Mathabatha. “Most children aren’t enjoying a dverse diet that provides the necessary vitamins, minerals, proteins and amino acids necessary for healthy physical and mental development.”

Moringa trees are drought resistant and can be grown in a wide variety of poor soils. Nearly every part of the tree has beneficial properties and it is also proving an excellent source of animal feed for small-scale farmers. In several developing countries, Moringa is used as a micro-nutrient powder to fight a number of diseases.

Sedikong sa Lerato is a women led community organisation that aims to stem hunger and malnutrition by offering the nutritional benefits of the Moringa tree to the poorest in the rural communities of Limpopo and beyond.

The Southern Africa Trust has partnered with Limpopo-based Sedikong sa Lerato in South Africa, to roll-out a US$20,000 project to plant Moringa trees and educate communities, small-scale farmers, traditional leaders, municipalities and government departments on the nutritional values of the Moringa tree. The Moringa Oleifera holds great promise as a sustainable crop that can overcome poverty and hunger.

The Southern Africa Trust is an independent non-profit agency that supports deeper and wider regional engagement to overcome poverty in southern Africa.

 
 
 
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