Moringa Trees to be grown for new project in Kenya
ITF is supporting a pioneering project in western Kenya which aims to capitalise on the moringa tree’s efficacy in the treatment of HIV/AIDs patients.
It will focus on Kakamega County, where 4.6 per cent of the population are HIV positive. Research has shown that moringa tree products have anti-retroviral properties and can help to boost the immune system of people infected by the HIV virus.
The aim is to improve the health of some of the tens of thousands of people affected by the disease – while at the same time helping affected communities earn useful income through the sale of Moringa-derived medicinal products.
The project is being co-ordinated by CEIN, a community-based organisation with experience of raising public health awareness and helping to implement government public health programmes. It will work alongside ten local HIV/AIDs groups, whose members will plant moringa trees on their farms for both household consumption and commercial use.
Seeds will be bought and distributed to the members for planting on farms with the co-operation of the Kenya Forest Service. After harvesting Ministry of Health experts will provide advice on sanitation and packaging for onward placement into the market for consumption. Monitoring and evaluation will be done at farm level during harvesting, packaging and distribution.
Apart from the expected benefits from improved public health and income generation, cultivation of moringa trees will increase forest cover, help increase rainfall, improve soil fertility and provide shade for other crops.