Three organizations pool resources to promote "Moringa Oleifera"
Tumu (U/W), March 20, GNA - Three non-governmental organizations operating in rural communities in the Upper West Region have come together to promote the cultivation and consumption of "Moringa Oleifera" plant to fight diseases and as a source of income.
'Moringa Oleifera,' commonly called "miracle tree", has nutritional and medicinal properties well documented by researchers and used as beverage or in food products to fight malnutrition and diseases like hypertension and diabetes.
Action Aid International, the Sissala Literacy Project of Ghana Institute of Literacy, Linguistics and Bible Translators (GILLBT) and the Lawra Methodist Integrated Nutrition Project, which are spearheading the project, have jointly organized a two-day workshop on the plant at Tumu in the Sissala East District
The workshop created a forum for participants to share indigenous knowledge on the benefits of the plant and share hands-on learning experiences on the recommended preparation of some local recipes out of Moringa in a manner that would preserve its nutritional content.
Opening the workshop, Mrs Winifred Dy-Yaka, Upper West Regional Deputy Minister, said Moringa offered a new major hope in efforts at minimizing malnutrition and various ailments that afflicted people in the region.
She said it must be seen as promoting development by using it to reduce malnutrition, a major contributory factor to child mortality which currently stood at 208 per 1,000 and the high maternal mortality in the region.
Mrs Dy-Yaka urged Municipal and District Assemblies to play a lead role in ensuring that Moringa based products were widely used to promote the health and livelihood of the people.
Mr Kweku Koranteng, Programme Manager of Action Aid, said knowledge of the Moringa plant which the people possessed, but which was not properly studied, documented and advertised, could get into other people's hands and be better packaged, patented and sold back to them.
He urged Pharmacists and other intellectual disciplines to be proactive in adapting and improving on such indigenous knowledge for the national good.
Mr Justin Frimpong, Project Manager of GILLBT in the Sissala East District said fresh Moringa leaves or powder contained all the minerals and vitamins the human body needed to function efficiently and therefore asked school authorities to include it in meals for school children.
Various foods supplements prepared with additives of Moringa leaves and seeds were exhibited at the workshop.