Jatropha was the toast in biofuel oil industry until moringa was discovered as better source. No offense to propagators of jatropha but this is now the reality. This ain’t rocket science to figure it out. All you need to do is read articles, books and video presentation related to moringa and jatropha. In comparisson, Jatropha has a poisonous part to be left when you get the oil. It’s like a nuclear waste, where will you dispose the waste?” As to Moringa (Malunggay), all the parts of the tree are useful and highly benefitial with income potential. The most beneficial part of malunggay is nutrition. And as to my research, moringa could prove to be better in terms of maximizing what we can get out of the plant. This is shown by the number of medicinal benefits and uses that Moringa has over jatropha.
Recent Development on Demands
The discovery resulted to a growing demand for Moringa oil or oil extracted from the seed of the moringa (malunggay) tree in the US for use as biodiesel. Europe also starts to source out. One company to require is North American Biofuels Inc. Since January of 2008, they started to tap moringa oil for its biodiesel needs. But there are others who joined the trend (both big and small business players in the import-export sector, farming, cooperatives and processing plant). There were reports that there will be giant moringa processing plant to be established in Mindanao and Visayas Philippines (American Company). On around 2009, there were about more or less 200 biodiesel marketing companies that use soybean oil as biofuel in the US alone. In the next 50 years, it was estimated that Japan and Korea will be the largest markets for Moringa oil as biodiesel.
On around 2008, a number of MIT graduate students from USA studied the potentials of moringa tree directly in the Philippines. They made a remarkable discovery. Their study in PowerPoint format is available for free in the internet. See below outline:
Moringa Oil processed as biodiesel has the following properties:
- Iodine number better than that of regular diesel, indicating fuel stability.
- A cetane number indicating good ignition behavior.
- A cold filter plugging point indicating suitability even in winter.
Income Projection for Farmers:
For a 10-ha moringa farm, a farmer could earn Php2 million during the first year (equivalent to around US$43,478), Php3 million in the next three years (equivalent to around US$65,217), and Php4 million in the next four years (equivalent to around US$86,956). In addition, the meal, or sapal, of malunggay seeds may be used as livestock feed (all parts has its use and income potential).
Other Nutritional Benefits:
- Benefitial to mothers in need to breast feed their baby. The moringa leaves were found with lactating capability for mothers as a supplement to induce increased milk production. Traditionally, leaves are prepared as a soup or mixed in other food for the benefit of either the mother or the child. Proven as cheapest way to control malnutrition and hunger among poor families. Already been introduced in Africa and was proven very effectve.
- Moringa can also be used to increase sperm production in infertile men.
- Erosion control and benefits the global warming campaig.
- Roots can be used to treat snake bites.
According to a Philippine Bureau of Plant Industry study:
- (Moringa) has seven times the vitamin C in oranges
- Four times the calcium in milk
- Four times the vitamin A in carrots
- Twice the protein in milk
- Three times the potassium in bananas
Malungai/Malunggay is planted throughout the Philippines in settled areas at low and medium altitudes… The plant is a small tree, 8 meters or less in height, with corky bark and soft, white wood. The leaves are alternate, usually thrice pinnate, and 25 to 50 centimeters long. There are three to nine leaflets on the ultimate pinnules. These leaflets are thin, ovate to elliptic and 1 to 2 centimeters long. The flowers are white and 1.5 to 2 centimeters long, on spreading panicles. The pod is 15 to 30 centimeters long, pendulous, three-angled and nine ribbed. The seeds are three-angled, and winged on the angles.
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