The Winneba Diocese of the Methodist Church, Ghana, has concluded plans to establish large scale plantations of "Moringa Wonder Plant" to cater for both the health and economic needs of members.
This was contained in the Annual Report of the Diocesan Bishop, Right Reverend Dr Ekow Ghunney, at the 46th Synod of the Church at Winneba.
He said besides addressing the people's health needs, the establishment of the "Moringa Wonder Plant" farms would provide jobs for the unemployed youth in the Church.
Rt Rev Dr Ghunney said the Church had available land to commence business, adding that it would be an alternative source of income for some of the members who cultivated sugarcane for the distilling of Akpeteshie.
"We want to turn Moringa cultivation into co-operative farming societies to improve the health of our communities as well as the economic well-being of the people", Rt Rev Dr Ghunney added.
He advised members and non-members of the Church to embrace the medicinal plant, to better their health status as the plant possessed curative and preventive properties.
The Moringa is a tough tree that survives even in poor soils and uses its deep tap root to survive long periods of drought. Easy to propagate from seeds and cuttings, it grows rapidly to six meters in height and can flower and fruit in one year.
It seems to be a bit of a wonder plant because all parts are used in traditional medicines and the powdered seed is mixed with ointment to treat common bacterial skin infections.
It is also a good source of fuelwood and fodder for cattle and is suitable for agro-forestry because it does not throw heavy shade that prevents other crops from growing beneath its branches.
Rt Rev Dr Ghunney said the Church would also establish a "Methodist Medical Association" to assist members to access health education and healthcare.
The Report also mentioned a number of other committees the Diocesan leadership had put in place to promote education in general among communities in the area and called for support from within and outside the Diocese to achieve the goals.