Moringa farming has continued flourishing and creating enormous benefits for mankind. It is a plant said to have huge potential to boost farmer’s income, develop any nation’s economy and generate employment.
Although Nigeria’s soil is good for this amazing cash crop, its full potential is yet to be tapped into by farmers in the country. But many farmers who seize opportunities it offers, earn a living from it.
Moringa is known everywhere for it’s medicinal uses. It is regarded as the tree of life. The medicinal benefit of this tree makes it superior to other trees. Both the seeds and leaves are useful. The seeds and leaves are money!
Investors or intending farmers can make good money from the sale of Moringa seedlings, Moringa oil, Moringa tea, Moringa capsules, Moringa powder, are among the many formula.
Moringa farming business is not like any other annual crops farming such as maize, rice or beans. Though, moringa products are highly expensive and it takes comparatively little investment to set up a moringa farm.
One good thing about the crop, for instance, if one set up moringa plantation, he will continue making money from it yearly. Most times 3 months after planting. Moringa leaves can be harvested after 90 days of planting.
Due to its economic, medicinal and health benefits, the demand is huge in USA, China, Vietnam, India and other European countries.
Daily Sun learnt that Chinese, Indians, Veitnamese and South Korea companies are all over Lagos looking for Moringa seeds, as a bag of moringa seed costs N150,000 to N170,000 depending on the weights. In Kano state, the Chinese usually pay a moringa farmers in advance far ahead of the harvesting period.
In Zamfara alone, a trader in moringa seeds rakes in N6 million every year because the seed has more monetary value than the leaves with a kilo of it sold for N1,800 to N2,000.
During the raining season, farmers can harvest at least three times a season, depending on the size of the farm. With less effort, a small size of land can accommodate many stems that can within a short period grow and produce the seeds that can be used for export, where they are processed for both consumption and value addition.
The crop is being used by pharmaceutical, perfumery, trado-medical practitioners, and food industries as its leaves and other parts are useful as medicine for treatment of ailments.
Looking at the in-depth health benefits of Moringa leaves, stem, root, and seeds, scientific studies have shown that it contains specific antioxidants and health promoting ingredients that offer palliatives to malnutrition, hunger and diseases. The early leaves are edible and are commonly cooked and eaten like spinach or used to make soups and salads.
Speaking with Daily Sun, the Deputy Managing Director of Peniel Gerar International Limited, a seed company, Ojiefoh Enahoro Martins, said farmers can always get good seeds from existing farms, advising that seed selection is a major key factor one must take very serious as a new farmer or investor.
He said Oyo, Benue and Edo states have more of moringa and farmers could get good seeds in these states. He said moringa has short term maturation period, which makes it more advantageous for investors, unlike other tree crops like cashew and cocoa.
Said he: “I will advice farmers and investors to embrace moringa farming as a business because the demand keep increasing on daily basis. Moringa is a friendly crop and very easy to manage. In 2017, I ran out of supply, I traveled to over 6 states looking for moringa for my foreign buyers.”
He added: “Recently, some communities in plateau state embrace moringa in large scale. It does not cost anything to go into Moringa farming. All you have to know and need is to get a land may be an hectare, get the right seeds, get a good flat land and there is no fixed price for seeds but i sell at N200 per nurse seedlings, understand the early management process, protect your farm from domestic animals like goats and Rams. Cows and goats are the major setback in moringa farming.