In the very southern part of India, a large collective of farmers are building community resilience through the sustainable farming of moringa. In 2004 the tsunami that hit many parts of Asia devastated their coastal community resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and hundreds of thousands of displacements. Additionally, the tsunami devastated the local fishing industry, beaches and tourism, crushing their local economy.
Today, 1030 farmers from the area form a moringa farming and processing collective helping to build sustainable community resilience and rural development.
Moringa is often referred to as the tree of life for its cultural importance in providing livelihood through its versatility. The tree offers value in fruits, seeds, leaves, flowers and roots. It is a fast-growing tree, reaching heights of up to 10 meters providing fast, efficient, large yields. The resilience and versatility of the tree make it a sustainable source of nutrition, both for consumption and for skincare.
Cosmetic and Skin Care Additive | Hydrating | High Content of Oleic Acid | Protects Against UV Damage and Pigmentation | Long Shelf Life, No Oxidization| Antibacterial and Anti fungal properties
All parts of the moringa tree can be used from its roots to its leaves. It is a native crop and requires no chemical inputs from fertilizers or pesticides. It is also fast-growing and acts as a soil stabilizer making it a resilient, and highly sustainable tree for its nutritious harvest. Moringa farming is done organically and provides a risk-reduced income source for the farmers.
Moringa cultivation does not require much watering as it is a hardy plant and can withstand the dry and wet seasons. Additionally, moringa seed powder can be used with copper mesh to purify water. This can be used to provide clean drinking water to rural populations and those impacted by disasters such as cyclones or floods.
Following the Tsunami in 2004, many families returned to farming and moringa was a particularly appealing crop. The cooperative of 1030 small farmers cultivates more than 700 hectares. The cooperative invested in two hectares of land for setting up a processing unit with a moringa washing area, solar dryer and powderizer in a building devoted to moringa. This centre for collective processing of the moringa facilitates both production and training for rural populations. The operation is built around promoting capacity building and skills development to farmers, processors and traders, increasing independence and promoting resiliency to market fluctuations.
Women are especially engaged in the activities of farming and collectively processing the moringa harvest. Many women were left widowed after the tsunami. Creating livelihood opportunities for them and their children is a key part of the collective moringa model.
By planting, harvesting and processing moringa this collective reduces their need to rely on chemical and water-intensive farming practices. The moringa is grown organically and as a native plant requires very few inputs. It is fast-growing and acts as a soil stabilizer supporting the restoration of degraded land.
UN Sustainable Development Goal
By planting moringa and through the moringa's qualities of nurturing the soil this project contributed to target 15.3; "Combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil."
By contributing to a more resilient rural community to more livelihoods opportunities this producer is targeting 13.1; "Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters"
The moringa plantation is a collective project, employing women, local farmers, traders and processors. Thereby, creating livelihood opportunities for them and allowing their skills to develop and supporting farmers to be independent.
UN Sustainable Development Goal
By setting up collective processing of the moringa this project contributes to target 8.3; "Supports decent job creation and growth of micro-medium sized enterprises"
By helping create a resilient income opportunity for many this project contributes to target 8.5; "Achieving productive employment for all women and men"
Livelihoods Impacted: 1030 farmers and their families.