NCBA CLUSA International’s Moringa Value Chain project is featured in a Huffington Post blog, which is part of a series organized by The Huffington Post and the NGO alliance InterAction to call attention to the crisis in the Sahel, a region in sub-Saharan Africa where more than 18 million people face starvation and 1.1 million children under the age of 5 are at risk of dying from acute malnutrition.
According to the US-based National Research Council, “moringa is potentially one of the planet’s most valuable plants, at least in humanitarian terms…. A sort of supermarket on a trunk, it yields at least four different edibles: pods, leaves, seeds, and roots. And beyond edibles, it provides products that make village life more self sufficient: lubricating oil, lamp oil, wood, paper, liquid fuel, skin treatments, and the means to help purify water, to name but a few. The living tree, itself, also provides such things as shade, landscaping, and shelter from the elements.”
The people of Niger face many challenges in feeding themselves. One of the poorest countries in the world with about 85 percent of its estimated 15 million people living in rural areas, surviving on near-subsistence agriculture, Niger is also one of the fastest-growing countries in the world, with an annual population growth rate of a little over 3 percent. Alarmingly, this population growth rate exceeds the agricultural growth rate, which is slightly over 2 percent.
CLUSA International sought to rapidly expand the production, marketing, processing, and consumption of moringa leaves in Niger using funds provided by the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Read the blog post, written by NCBA CLUSA Program Associate Annette Frost, here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/annette-frost/moringa-the-tree-of-life_b_1645858.html.