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Moringa for Health    Moringa leaves                    <<back>>

Background of the Project Moringa
of Able and Willing

Mission

Project Moringa aims to improve the health and nutrition of the people who need it the most, especially malnourished children, by demonstrating how to grow, process and use the various parts of the Moringa tree – an easy and fast growing plant, every part of which is beneficial.  A key feature of the program is working with local clinics to treat malnourished children.

Setting

The Moringa Farm is located in Manabougou, Mali, a typical farming village on the Niger River approximately 50 kilometers from Bamako. The majority of Manabougou’s residents live by fishing and farming – especially the staples of sorghum, millet, or rice - supplemented by cash income of about $300 per year.  Rainy seasons are crucial to villagers’ survival, but climate change has shortened the rainy season and made rainfall amounts unreliable.  In years of shortfall, crops are meager, fish supplies from the river dwindle, and migratory cattle herds thin out from long treks to water and absence of grasses to eat.  All of this compromises the nutrition and health of the villagers.  Children are the most vulnerable.

 
Mamadou Dia Farm 
Mamadou Dia farm near Manabougou, Mali is close to the Niger River.

2008 Mamadou Dia Begins His Quest and Learns Some Things

Mamadou Dia, an American citizen born and raised in Mali, grew up with a love of raising animals.  He bought the land in 2008 with the intent to improve livestock productivity and show neighboring farmers how to do it.  Using his own money, he had the land cleared for crops, hired a farm supervisor, built living quarters for the supervisor, had wells dug for water, and pens built for farm animals.  /p>

In 2010, Mamadou learned about the benefits of the Moringa tree (see Moringa Trees) and started an experimental plot.  However it proved vulnerable to destruction due to inadequate protection from fire and wandering animals.  Although his entire crop of Moringa and livestock feed was destroyed by fire, he persists in livestock improvement work.

 animals on Mamadou Dia farm
 Mamadou is still breeding more productive livestock on his farm. 

2012: More Moringa seeds planted;  joins Able & Willing

In April 2012, the farm supervisor, François Dembele, started 200 Moringa seeds in containers.  Later in May, Mamadou shipped a small tractor to Mali to help clear additional land and till the soil.  Once that work was done, the 200 seedlings were transplanted and 600 more seeds were planted directly in the ground.  In June, 200 more seeds were started in containers, and in July and August another 500 seeds were planted directly in the ground, for a grand total of 1500 trees.  By October, the earliest trees yielded some of their leaves and, with the cooperation of the Centre de Santé de Manabougou, began to feed malnourished children and restore them to health.