Moringa could help arid nations to fight food insecurity and malnutrition (IPS)

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http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=106539

Miracle Tree is Like a Supermarket

By Kristin Palitza

CAPE TOWN, Jan 25, 2012 (IPS) – When a food crisis hits the continent, African countries tend to look to the international donor community to mobilise aid. But a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree with extremely nutritious leaves could help poor, arid nations to fight food insecurity and malnutrition on their own.

A 15-hectare plantation of the “miracle tree” with the botanical name Moringa oleifera has already started to make a positive change in the rural village of Tooseng, which is located in one of South Africa’s poorest provinces, Limpopo.

Moringa leaves are dubbed a “super food” because scientists found that they contain the calcium equivalent of four glasses of milk, the vitamin C content of seven oranges, the potassium of three bananas, three times the amount of iron found in spinach, four times the amount of vitamin A found in a carrot and twice the amount of protein in milk. It is like a supermarket on a tree.

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Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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