Moringa-The miracle tree
Globally, about 870 million people do not have enough to eat, and more than two billion suffer from micronutrient deficiency, according to United Nations (UN) food agencies. The Moringa tree (drumstick bear plant), also known as the miracle tree is increasingly considered as one of the world's most valuable natural resources, as the main constituents of the tree have several nutritive ingredients. Malnourished children flourish with the introduction of the nutritious Moringa leaf crop, which provides protein, vitamins and minerals in their diets.
Moringa oleifera is an essential plant in meeting global food security and sustain the livelihoods of many millions of people. Food vs. fuel, for most, comes and goes with price cycles. It is seen as a transitory debate, usually focused on a handful of feedstocks that producers of food or fuel have become overly dependent on. The oil from the Moringa tree is a more sustainable biodiesel feedstock as it can yield both food and fuel.
The greatest potential for this species is currently thought to be in its cultivation for the production of biodiesel. Moringa has a good growth rate and the leaves are generally harvested in about 2.5 months. It is particularly desirable because it is a very low water-use crop and may be cultivated on marginal land commercially. Moringa trees are grown for pod production and harvested after seven months from planting. Pod yields are about 19 kg pods/tree/year, equivalent to 30 tonnes pods a year per hectare.
Moringa has a promising future for farmers, especially in the rural areas for the sources of food and organic fertilizers and as the tools of climate change adaptation and mitigation.
India is a major Moringa producing country, accounting for about 80 percent of global demand. India produces about 1.1 to 1.3 million tons of Moringa annually.
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