Haiti Moringa Project: Producing Superfood from a Miracle Tree
Also known as the “Miracle Tree”, Moringa is an amazing tree with incredible nutritional and medicinal properties. Its leaves have long been known to indigenous cultures for their nutritional and medicinal benefits: there is no other tree leaf in the world with Moringa’s combination of protein, vitamin A, potassium, calcium and vitamin C. Similarly, the oil derived from Moringa seeds also has its own unique properties, and is used in a wide variety of products, including natural cosmetics and high quality cooking oils.
Originally from India, the Moringa tree can now be found in most (sub-)tropical parts of the world. The tree grows very fast and is incredibly resilient, making it very suitable for reforestation efforts in areas where most other trees won’t grow. The fact that it can do so in poor soils also means it won’t have to compete with other crops that might require good agricultural soils.
The Haiti Moringa project aims to support smallholder farmers in Haiti to start growing and processing Moringa on a commercial scale. It was implemented following the success of the Haiti Moringa study I conducted for the SFA in 2015. The initial focus of the project is on the production of Moringa leaf powder (a superfood) which is exported to the US market. The income from the project benefits the farmers that grow the Moringa and the women that process the leaves into powder. It also provides local communities in Haiti with a new source of nutrition, while contributing towards the reforestation of a country that badly needs it.
The first product containing our Haitian grown Moringa leaf powder, KuliKuli’s Moringa Green Energy shots, hit the shelves of WholeFoods US in 2016. With strong demand we are currently in the process of expanding processing capacities, which include infrastructure for pressing Moringa oil.
Haiti Moringa Project Featured Video
This (somewhat dated) video, taken during a visit I made to Haiti in 2015, provides a bit of background to the Haiti Moringa project. It illustrates some of Haiti’s deforestation challenges and shows me visiting a cooperative of women that grow Moringa.
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Where We’re At
The first processing site for SFA’s Haiti Moringa project is located near the small Haitian town of Desarmes, in the central Artibonite region of Haiti. Pending funding the project will be expanded to other sites throughout Haiti.
HQ Smallholder Farmers Alliance
Head office of the Smallholder Farmer’s Alliance (Gonaives, Haiti)
Processing Site AFASDAH Women Cooperative
Processing site of the AFASDAH women cooperative (Desarmes, Haiti)
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