UMTV: Africa’s Miracle Tree
The Moringa plant offers the potential to lower cholesterol, purify the liver, and even prevent blindness. Thanks to the efforts of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and the West Africa Initiative of Liberia, farmers are learning Moringa harvesting to support themselves and their community.
(Tunukuk Puye, Liberia)
The seed of the Moringa tree is a tiny powerhouse of nutrition-- with 25 times the Iron in spinach, 17 times the Calcium in milk, and 10 times the Vitamin A in carrots!
And this little wonder can survive drought, poor soil, and still yield fruit within 6 months! That's why this amazing plant is known across the world as "the miracle tree."
Joseph Wonyenneh: "And because of the vitamin component, it's very good."
The Moringa has become much more than a shade tree on a hot day in Liberia...
In a country where widespread disease results in the death of 1 in every 9 children before the age of 5, the Moringa brings potential to remedy malnutrition, treat skin infections, and prevent disease.
Korpo Sendelo: "Whenever you are sick, you use this tree to help."
Whether sipped as a tea or sprinkled over porridge, virtually every part of the adaptable plant can be cooked, fried, dried, or peeled in order to activate essential amino acids and phytonutrients.
Korpo Sendelo: "You can scrape the bark and inhale it."
UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, has been the driving force behind the Moringa promotion in Liberia since 2002. Their Sustainable Agriculture & Development Program educates farmers in local and affordable trades such as beekeeping, snail farming, and Moringa harvesting.
Ezekiel C. Freeman: "Sometimes people of the community don't know that they have the resources until somebody can help them facilitate the process."
Graduates of the UMCOR program return to their communities in order to spread the seeds of knowledge about the nutritional andmedicinal values of this plant.
Andrew Zuobrah: "So this is the process we use to get this Moringa leaf dry."
Ezekiel C. Freeman: "Our programs are taking them to trade fair exhibitions and other things so they are encouraged and then they are going far.
UMCOR's West Africa Initiative purchases Moringa products-- giving farmers a chance to "grow money on trees' by taking advantage of a miracle resource flourishing in their front yards.
Moringa oleifera (or Moringa) is native to the Himalayas and has been gradually introduced into other countries across the southern hemisphere.
Read more about sustainable agriculture in Liberia.
Contact UMCOR at 1-800-554-8583.
Posted: August 14, 2013