Moringa (Drum stick) Moringa oleifera cultivation and consumption of various Parts of this crop like leaves and pods, enhances the nutritional status of human being. The following nutrients are present in this crop.
- Moringa leaves are having 40% of protein with all the nine essential amino acids.
- The amount of Beta carotene , vitamin C and vitamin E found in moringa exceed those amounts commonly found in other plant parts.
- Beta carotene (Pro vitamin A) moringa leaves contain beta carotene than carrots about 3 to 5 times are more. Vit.A is the most important vitamin for immune protection against heart disease and keep harmfull lipoprotein containing chloestrol from damaging heart.
- Vitamin C Just one ounce of Moringa leaves contains the daily recommended amountof Vitamin C.
- Vitamin E is a potent anti oxidant that helps prevent premature ageing and degenerative disease including heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer.
- Vitamin B1 is the vital for production of energy in each cells and it plays essential role in the development of carbohydrates.
- Vitamin B2 (Ribo flavin) also present in moringa leaves.
Based on the above reasons In South parts of Tamil Nadu in India, Farmers are interesting in cultivation of this crop. In Tuticorin DT. Of Tamil Nadu state in India the Teri land (Red soil with moderate water holding capacity) farmers raising this crop to the extent of more than 2000 ha.
In this crop cultivation recent trend is instead of growing perennial Moringa these farmers are preferred new varieties of Annual moringa varieties like PKM1 PKM2,which are having 18 months life period. The propagation of this crop by seeds , these seeds were sown in polythene bags and after 20 to 25 days the seedlings were transplanted in main field.
Farmers are using Drip irrigation with fertigation to get high yield from this crop.The productivity of this crop up to 7.5 tonnes/Ha. and 1250 kgs of leaves are gathered from this crop per tree per year.
In south Indian food esp. in Tamil Nadu state the leaves, and pods are widely used for culinary purpose. The moringa pods are now exported to other state. Now these farmers trying to make powder from these leaves of this crop, which has enormous export value and help full for reducing malnutrition.
Sustainability of growing of this crop only based on the nutritive value and food system followed by these people.