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MORINGA: CULTIVATION AND USAGE

POCKET GUIDE

Peace Corps Senegal 2009

MORINGA: MIRACLE?
Moringa oleifera is one of the most talked-about plants in development circles, but its value has been recognized for millennia. It can purify water, enrich food, nourish livestock, and replenish soils. Native to India, M. oleifera grows readily in Senegal, so much that its local name reects its tendency to never die. While volunteers will probably not have problems growing Moringa, this booklet is intended to guide PCV efforts with this non-native tree in such a way that the seeds their communities plant will grow into trees that will benet Senegal for generations. M. oleifera is an ideal tree to work with for even those PCVs unfamiliar with forestry practices. Unless otherwise noted, technical recommendations come from The Miracle Tree, by Lowell Fuglie (CWS, Dakar, 1999).
Cover images from http://www.traderscity.com/ and http://blog.agriculture.ph/`v

Nursery Techniques: Poly-Pots Nursery Techniques: Bare-Root Beds Direct-Seeding Methods Planting Moringa Intensive Cultivation Planning Calendar Use of Moringa Moringa Recipes Moringa Nutrition Information

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NURSERY TECHNIQUES
Poly-Pot Nursery Production
Planting M. oleifera in plastic sacks, called poly-pots, is a method that requiries certain materials (the plastic sacks), but keeping the plants in sacks enables the grower to raise large, healthy seedlings before the onset of the rainy season, and also allows for easy transport to distant sites at planting time. To prepare a poly-pot nursery, sift and mix two parts sand and one part manure or compost and ll sacks, making sure to pinch the bottom corners so as to have a stable at bottom. Place sacks in rows in a recessed bed, in an area with reliable protection from goats and other animals. Start watering the sacks one to two weeks before planting to allow for weed germination. Remove any weeds that sprout and plant 1-2 seeds per sack at a depth of 1-2 cm. To encourage germination, keep sacks in partial shade and water twice daily, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. After allowing 5-12 days for germination, thin seedlings to one per sack, and replant sacks whose seeds did not sprout. After seeds sprout, shade is no longer necessary; keep sacks free of weeds.. Seedlings should spend 10-12 weeks in the nursery; to prepare the plants for stress, reduce water for a week before transplanting; if seedlings are large from spending too long in the nursery, strip the leaves from lower branches. Before transplanting, dig holes deep enough for the entire sack to t. Be sure to remove the plastic sack carefully, loosening the root ball gently without breaking it, and place the seedling and root ball into the transplant hole. Collect the sacks after use so as to avoid littering elds with plastic, and re-use them if possible (to line improved garden beds, for example). 3

NURSERY TECHNIQUES
Bare-Root Bed Nursery Production
This method requires less materials than the poly-pot method, and creates less waste, but yields seedlings that are more cumbersome to transplant. To prepare a bare-root bed, choose a site that is well protected from goats and other animals. Plan on meter-wide nursery beds, in an area with sandy soil. Loosen the soil to a depth of 50 cmmoistening it beforehand can help if soils are dry and hard and mix in manure or compost and crushed Neem leaves (Azadirachta indica) to protect against insect attack. Start watering one to two weeks prior to seeding to allow for weed germination. Remove weeds and plant seeds in rows 30 cm apart (for easy removal), with 10 cm between each seed pocket. The bed should be in partial shade for optimum germination, and be watered twice daily, neither getting dried-out nor ooded. Allow 5-12 days for germination, and then re-plant in the gaps where seeds did not sprout. After seeds sprout, shade is no longer necessary; beds should be kept weed-free. 12-15 weeks in the nursery is an appropriate time, but reduce watering for a week before transplanting in order to prepare seedlings for stress. For easy removal of seedlings, soak the nursery beds. To keep the seedlings protected after being removed, pack roots with moist mud until seedlings are placed in the transplant hole. Strip the seedling of lower branches to reduce transplanting stress.

OTHER PLANTING METHODS


Direct-Seeding and Cuttings
Direct-Seeding M. oleifera seeds may be sown directly during the rainy season, ideally in the month of July. If irrigation is available, direct-seeding is possible year-round. It is best to prepare the planting hole with manure or compost before planting, but M. oleifera has been successfully grown with no such preparation. Remove weeds within 50 cm of the planting site, plant two seeds per hole, and water. After seeds sprout, thin to one plant per pocket. Cuttings In addition to direct-seeding, M. oleifera can be grown from cuttings from adult trees. Cut hardwood branches from a healthy, year-old tree that are 45-150 cm in length and 4-16 cm in diameter. Cuttings can be placed in poly-pots and cared for as with a poly-pot nursery, or planted directly in holes prepared as described above. When planting, bury at least one third of the cutting in the ground. Be sure not to overwater after planting the cutting, as this can lead to rotting before roots can develop. Light, sandy soil works best, as it allows for good drainage. 2-3 months in the nursery is an appropriate time.

PLANTING MORINGA
Integrating Moringa into Agroforestry Systems
Moringa oleifera, when included in agroforestry planting, can complement surrounding elds and gardens in a number of ways. Alley-Cropping In an alley-cropping system, M. oleifera can replenish soil nutrients, and protect elds from erosion by slowing down destructive winds, but care needs to be taken to make sure that trees do not compete with crops. Plant trees in rows 10 m apart, with 3 m between each tree. Rows should be oriented east-west to ensure that the crops between the tree rows receive adequate sunlight. The leaves and seed pods may be harvested for human or animal consumption, or the leaves may be cut and incorporated into the soil. M. oleifera has few lateral roots, but if competition with crops is feared, deep plowing along each row will cut any such roots. Live Fencing With its fast growth, M. oleifera is a great choice for live fence posts. Trees should be spaced at intervals of 20 cm to 2 m according to the plan for the rest of the fence. The closer the spacing, the less productive the individual trees will be, but M. oleifera generally performs well even at close spacing. Compound and Garden Planting When planted in households, seedlings require good protection as they are highly palatable to livestock. Space as desired, considering the shade that will come from the future canopy; prune trees to control canopy density, and to prevent lanky growth. Orchard Planting Plant the trees 3 m apart from one another and prune them as described for compound and garden planting. Pruning is essential to encourage optimum pod growth for seed production. 6

INTENSIVE CULTIVATION
Maximizing Leaf Production
Moringa oleifera can be grown in a garden bed, planted closely together so as to maximize leaf yield. To plant an intensive bed of M. oleifera, choose a protected site with sandy soil and loosen the soil to a depth of 50 cm, incorporating a minimum of 6 kg manure or compost per square meter. Beds should be a meter wide and no longer than 10 m. Water for two weeks and pull out the weeds that sprout, then plant seeds in rows 10 cm apart, with 10 cm between each plant. Water needs are quite high to sustain high leaf production: for every square meter, gure 10.8 L water per day (7.2 L/day in the rainy season). Use fertilizer if possible (see below), but do not apply in the rst few weeks or seedlings may die. If leaves turn yellow, manure, compost, or fertilizer. Once the plants reach a height of 120 cm, harvest the leaves and cut plants down to a height of 20 cm; repeat this pattern of growth and harvest. Keep leaves in the shade to conserve nutrients. After three years, consider replanting to sustain high yield levels. Note that other sources recommend harvesting when plants are only 40 cm high, and since performance may vary according to soil type and climate, experimentation is recommended to obtain maximum yields. Maximum leaf yields are obtained with the following inputs: NPK Fertilizer (21-7-20 best) - 16-48 kg/ha every week, with the amount depending on the visible condition of the plants Urea - 8 kg/ha a month after planting, and every two weeks thereafter. Unless using soluble fertilizers and a drip irrigation system, apply fertilizer in a band parallel to the rows of plants, a few cm deep in the soil. Source: Intensive Moringa Oleifera Cultivation in the North of Senegal by Caroline Oliver, Church World Service, at www.moringanews. org/documents/Leafproduction.doc. 7

CALENDAR
Month-by-Month Planning
January Leaf harvesting Water trees to encourage leaf production February Leaf harvesting Water trees to encourage leaf production Young pod harvest (for consumption)

May Water trees to encourage leaf production Harvest pods Water and weed nurseries

June Water and weed nurseries Prepare out-planting site Incorporate leaves into elds before planting to enrich soil

September Water and weed plants for continuous leaf production Weed out-planting sites

October Water and weed plants for continuous leaf production Weed out-planting sites

CALENDAR
Month-by-Month Planning
March Leaf harvesting Water trees to encourage leaf production Young pod harvest (for consumption) April Water trees to encourage leaf production Harvest pods Prepare and plant nurseries

July Direct seeding Begin transplanting if rains are consistent

August Finish transplanting Weed planting sites

November Water and weed plants for continuous leaf production

December Water and weed plants for continuous leaf production Cut branches and cover elds for dry season protection

USING MORINGA
Food Uses
Leaves: Fresh and Dried The leaves of the M. oleifera tree are extremely nutritious and can be included in many food preparations. In an intensive plantation, leaf yields can reach 78 T/ha. The most familiar use for leaves in Senegal is to prepare haako or mboum, but dried leaf powder may be easily incorporated into many dishes (rice, millet, sauces, porridges, omelettes, beignets) to add nutritional value. To make leaf powder, rst dry washed leaves in a shaded, well-ventilated area. Next pound the leaves, then rene the powder by rubbing it through wire mesh. Leaf Juice The juice from the leavesextracted by crushing the leaves then ltering and diluting the juicecan be made into a drink that confers many of the nutritional benets of the leaves alone. Pods The pods, when harvested very young (less than 1 cm thick)), can be cooked as green beans and incorporated into many common dishes. The pods can also be used for making soups, or fried (just the inner esh and beans). Flowers and Unripe Seed Kernels Flowers and unripe seeds can be mixed into leaf sauces, but they can also be steamed for salad or other dishes, or fried and salted for a snack. Seed for Oil Ripe seed kernels contain up to 40% oil by mass, and may be pressed to extract a ne oil that may then be used for cooking as well as soap making, and lamp fuel. With potential seed yields of 5 T/ha, a well-maintained orchard can yield a couple thousand liters of oil per hectare. See page 61 of The Moringa Tree for information on building an oil press. 10

USING MORINGA
Other Uses
Livestock Feed Pressed seed cake can be used as livestock feed. Before giving the seed cake to livestock, mix with water and then strain out the liquid with a cloth. Stems, leaves, owers, and pods can be fed to animals as well. Soil Amelioration Pressed seed cake can be used as fertilizer, as well as cut leaves/stems; mixing these into soil can raise nutrient levels and improve soil texture. Seed for Water Purication When pounded into a powder, mature seeds also serve as a water purication agent; 10 L of water requires a teaspoon of powder. Make a paste of seed powder and a small amount of water, then dilute this paste in a bottle of water. Close the bottle and shake for 5 minutes, then strain through cloth to remove the solids, letting the liquid fall into the vessel of water to be treated. Stir quickly for a few minutes, and then slowly for 15 minutes more, and then let the water sit for an hour or more. After solids settle to the buckets bottom, the clean water can be decanted. Boiling or bleach treatment will nally render the water fully safe to drink. Plant Growth Hormone Young shoots of M. oleifera (less than 40 days old) contain a hormone that stimulates growth of other crops when sprayed on directly. Pulverize 10 kg shoots, mix with a liter of water, strain out the remaining solids, and spray the resulting liquid on plants (25 ml per plant or so). Almost every part of the tree can be used for something; for more information consult The Moringa Tree.

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COOKING WITH MORINGA


Recipes
Moringa Haako 3 1/3 c. Moringa leaves 1/4 c. ground peanuts 3 dried sh 2 medium onions, minced 2 medium tomatoes, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced Salt Pepper Red Pepper Dried oysters (optional) Boil leaves for 10 minutes, then remove leaves from water and set aside. Reheat water to boiling and stir in the other ingredients. Boil for 15 minutes, then reduce heat, add leaves again and simmer for ten minutes. Serve over a simple grain (millet couscous, rice, etc.) or eat as soup. Moringa Porridge 1 1/2 c. water 1 1/2 c. milk 1/2 c. millet our 1/4 c. ground roasted cowpeas 3 T. ground peanuts 2 T. Moringa powder 2 T. sugar 1 pinch iodized salt Butter or cream (if youre lucky enough to live near Pulaars) Boil water and mix dry ingredients. Add these to the water and stir vigorously. Reduce heat and add milk. Cook for 10 minutes while stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Serve with butter or cream. 12

COOKING WITH MORINGA


Recipes
Moringa Fataya Wheat our Onions, minced Fish or beef, ground Red pepper, crushed Moringa leaf powder Cooking oil Mix our and water into a dough, and knead until smooth. Roll onto a at surface and cut into triangles. Mix the sh/beef, onions, red pepper and leaf powder, and put a spoonful of this mixture in the center of each triangle. Fold the corners of the triangles together to a point, and pinch the edges (the nished piece should look like a squat pyramid). Fry these in hot oil until golden brown. Adding Moringa to...Ceeb u Jen Cut up young Moringa pods (1 cm thick) and add with other vegetables. ...Kaldu Add Moringa powder to the water when adding onions ...Maafe Stir in Moringa powder to the sauce just before serving. ...Ndambe Boil Moringa leaves for 10 minutes, remove from water, and use this water to cook the beans; once beans are done, combine with leaves. ...Soupe au Kanja Add young Moringa pods, powder, or leaves when adding okra. 13

NUTRITION INFORMATION
Fresh Leaves and Dried Leaf Powder
Component 100 g Leaves 100 g Powder Childs RDA Moisture Content (%) 75.0 7.5 Calories 92 205 Protein (g) 6.7 27.1 16 Fat (g) 1.7 2.3 Carbohydrate (g) 13.4 38.2 Fiber (g) 0,9 19.2 Minerals (g) 2.3 Calcium (mg) 440 2,003 400 Copper (mg) 1.1 0.57 0.8 Iron (mg) 7 28.2 10 Potassium (mg) 259 1,324 800 Magnesium (mg) 24 368 150 Phosphorous (mg) 70 204 800 Sulfur (mg) 137 870 Selenium (mg) 0.09 0.01 Zinc (mg) 3.29 3.9 Oxalic acid (mg) 101 1,600 Vitamin A (mg) 6.8 18.9 1.5 Vitamin B (mg) 423 0.21 2.64 0.5 Vitamin B1 (mg) 0.05 20.5 0.8 Vitamin B2 (mg) 0.8 8.2 9 Vitamin B3 (mg) Vitamin C (mg) 220 17.3 20 Vitamin E (mg) 113 14

NOTES

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Corps de la Paix Amricain Almadies Lot N/1 TF 23231 B.P. 2534, Dakar RP