Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Tuesday said it had concluded plans establish N9 billion moringa oleifera farming plantation in the 774 local government areas of Nigeria.
The President of the association, Michael Ashimashiga, said this at a press conference in Abuja while discussing the importance of the plant.
Mr Ashimashiga said the arrangement was part of efforts to address unemployment in the country.
Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree of the family “moringaceae”. It is commonly known as drumstick tree and used as vegetable among other things.
He said the association, with about 5,000 members and targeting 10 million for the raining season was planting to cultivate and sell due to high demand both locally and internationally.
“Development of the country depends largely on agriculture. Moringa is a plant that does not only have health benefits but is economically viable,’’ the MAN president said.
He said there was a ready market to absorb each moringa farmers’ yields, and that the association would buy the plant from them.
The president noted that the association would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with their off takers to support the youths.
He said each of the beneficiaries would be given a plot of land and moringa seed at no cost, to cultivate.
“Moringa is very useful in high quality poultry yield among others. The economic benefit also cannot be overemphasised,’’ he said.
Ashimashiga said that India and China are generating good revenue from moringa plantations, adding that Nigeria has the capacity to generate more revenue generation from the plant.
“Nigeria’s Moringa is one of the best in the whole world; unfortunately, it is not on the list of agricultural products.
“We will keep clamouring for it to be included to help solve the problem of unemployment.
“Supporting moringa farmers will help everyone. Foreign off takers have come to see it and what one hectare of moringa produces, 50 hectares of rice can’t produce,” the MAN president said.