Information reaching us has it that, the Moringa Farmers and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MOFAMAN), has unveiled plans to plant N9 billion worth of moringa oleifera trees across the 774 Local Government Areas with the hope of empowering over 3,000 youths.
Its President, Michael Ashimashiga, who stated this at the weekend in Abuja, said modalities have been set in motion to engage 500 youths per local government to cultivate and sell the plant in view of its high demand both locally and internationally.
Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree of the family “Moringaceae”. It is commonly known as drumstick tree and used as vegetable, among other things. According to him, each of the beneficiaries will be given a plot of land and moringa seeds at no cost, to cultivate. On having buyers for the plant, the president said there was a ready market to absorb each farmer’s yield, adding that the association would buy the plant from the farmers.
“We are going into a N9 billion moringa trees plantation in the 774 local governments across the country and in the first phase of the project, we are engaging 500 youths per local government area to cultivate it.
“The development of the country depends largely on agriculture and moringa is one plant that does not only have health benefits but is economically viable. Moringa is very useful in high quality poultry yield, among others. The economic benefit also cannot be overemphasised.
“There was a Moringa Summit in 2008 organised by the Raw Materials Research and Development Council but since then we have not heard anything. At the summit, there were several presentations including some, which projected that the Federal Government can generate over N500 billion revenue annually. I still have most of the presentations with me.
“Nigeria’s moringa is one of the best in the whole world, but unfortunately, it is not on the list of agricultural products and we will keep clamouring for it to be included to help solve the problem of unemployment,” he said.