Moringa is a tree, the leaves of which, when dried and grounded into powder, produce a food supplement that has such an amount and concentration of proteins, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that it has been called the “miracle tree” world wild. We chose this project because producing and transforming Moringa in the rural areas of Burkina Faso has proven to have a great impact including:
> – Promoting permaculture and agroforestry principles in the gardens, where moringa trees, (as well as other plants which we add in our moringa based products) are produced ;
> – Generating stable revenues for the cultivators, while inputs needed for this culture are very low ;
> – Empowering and generating revenue for a association of Fulani women who process it;
> – Promoting local economy in an innovative way in one of the poorest rural area in the world, hence setting a model of rural development ;
> – Producing an extraordinary, natural, local and affordable food supplement in areas where child malnutrition and anaemia among mothers is still rampant;
> – Promoting general health by making available – and affordable – a local super food in a country where people lack sufficient nutritious and balanced food.
BACK GROUND AND HISTORY OF THE PROJECT:
With almost half of its population living with less than 1 Euro per day, and a literacy rate of only 21.8%, Burkina Faso is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. It ranks 134th on a total of 137 according to the Human Development Index of the World Bank/United Nations.
Approximately 80% of the 16 million inhabitants live in rural Burkina Faso and among them 50% are children under 15 years old.
AMURT’s activities currently focus in Bissiri village, 40 km south of the capital Ouagadougou.
AMURT center in Bissiri:
>> In this rural center, in tight collaboration with local villagers, we have implemented (since 1997) an agro-ecological model farm, a primary health center, a processing center for agro products and a junior high school.
Our objective is to establish a resource center for all the basic needs of the local population through a holistic, participative and empowering approach.
In collaboration with local farmers, we have implemented agro-ecological cultivation techniques of vegetables and trees in a 3 ha plot of land the villagers donated for the purpose. These are eco-friendly practices of agro production which aim at:
> – regenerating the soil and decreasing the need of costly inputs;
> – optimizing the productive potential of each crop;
> – generating resources in the short, middle and long term on each plot.
As we were looking for crops/trees that would generate middle and long term revenues we came across the Moringa tree, which not only fits very much in the agro-forestry/agro-ecology strategies but also potentially can be processed –and generates news jobs- and also become a local super food to palliate the lack of nutritious and balanced food that causes malnutrition in Burina Faso.
> – training of cultivators of the neighborhood in Moringa cultivation (in association with other crop they currently cultivate). From then on we guarantying buying their production at a given cost (they are paid per kg of fresh leaves);
> – trainings and employment of the local Andal Naweli women association in processing moringa fresh leaves into moringa powder and moringa teas in our Moringa processing facilities (they are paid per kg of fresh leaves processed);
> – selling our mornings based products on one hand as a business to sustain the project at the capital’s shops and abroad, and whenever we can aford it (or get sponsored) distributing moringa supplement in primary health care centers to combat malnutrition.
> BENEFICIARIES AND GENERAL IMPACT YEAR 2016:
> – 5 families of cultivators are guaranteed an income through the selling of moringa leaves;
> – 1 team of 30 women (local association of Fulani women) + 2 workers employed in processing operations;
> – 5000 moringa trees cultivated at Bissiri in agroforestry;
> – 1.5 ton moringa powder produced this year;
> – 200 Kg of moringa powder distributed to malnourished children and mothers in primary health centers;
> – 4500 moringa herbal tea and moringa powder bags sold in Ouagadougou shops this year. Starting exportation of our moringa based products.
FUTURE AND NEEDS:
The demand is now greater than our production, because of the unique quality of our products. This project has much more potential. So we need to expend. Next year we intend to double our production, work with more producers and give more work to our women’s association and provide more patients and customers. Everyone and everything is ready for that.
Now the hygiene and standard has to increase as well so we can assure a reliable product, not only to the locals but also to export it abroad. We need to mill the moringa into powder with our own galvanized iron mill so to have perfect control on the whole chain of processing.
In neighboring country Ghana (which i just toured) we can procure such a mill, gas powered one (since there is no electrical grid in our village). The cost, engine plus mill is exactly 1 000 USD. I shall be going there to fetch it.
Please let me know if you like to assist the progress of our MU once more. I think any investment in this expending project is most meaningful.