(Tetum) There could be 10,000 more Moringa trees growing in Timor-Leste, following Seeds of Life’s distribution of 1,000 packets of Moringa seeds to farmers in November and December.
Each packet contains 15 seeds, 10 black poly bags and an information sheet.
MAF-SoL are giving seeds of this nutrient-dense tree to farmers associations and some community seed production groups to help farming families improve their nutrition.
“Gram for gram Moringa has 5-7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 4-5 times more vitamin A than carrots, and 3 times more iron than spinach”
Feedback from farmers’ shows that the seed packets have been received positively
Nutrition Advisor Jess Fanzo said that Moringa (Moringa oleifera) is nicknamed the ‘Tree of Life’ due to its high vitamin, nutrient and antioxidant content.
“Gram for gram Moringa has 5-7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 4-5 times more vitamin A than carrots, and 3 times more iron than spinach.
“The leaves are the most nutrient dense portion of the plant and can be eaten like spinach or any other green leafy plant. Plus, the green seed pods can also be eaten,” she said.
Another benefit of Moringa is that it is a long-lived leguminous tree that will grow in conditions too severe for most other plants.
This is the first time that Seeds of Life has distributed Moringa, according to SoL staff member Samuel Bacon, who initiated the seed collection and packaging and helped coordinate distribution.
“Moringa has traditionally been grown in parts of Timor-Leste for a long time, but is almost totally absent in others. For example, people on Atauro Island eat Moringa leaves every day as a fresh source of leafy green vegetables.
“There’s no watering required, they can pick the leaves straight off the tree, and it survives well in dry conditions.
“But still, there are a lot of people in Timor-Leste that haven’t seen or heard of Moringa, and don’t know how nutritious it is.
Seeds of Life purchased the Moringa seeds from Atekru, Atauro.