The budding Moringa market presented a great opportunity to grow the trees, develop a processing industry and help impoverished communities earn an income. Since Botanica had the ability to erect processing facilities for moringa, but not necessarily enough space to plant the big number of trees they would need, it was a win-win to include the community in growing the trees.
Growing Rural Livelihoods with
Moringa Project’s baseline assessment
One community was identified in the area surrounding Botanica’s farm.
Farmers were given training, including modules related to agriculture and small business management. In 2018, additional stakeholders joined the partnership. Additional land was identified in the tribal trust communities of Taaibosch and Kromhoek, which meant that the moringa project was scaled up from 20 to 60 farmers on 60 hectares of land. Each farmer can potentially employ four workers, which can result in 300 jobs created.
Botanica is involved as the project implementing partner and has signed an offtake agreement with each community, guaranteeing a market for the raw moringa products that adhere to the required standards.
The farmers have two options for income from the moringa trees: leaves obtained from trees that have been pruned to shrubs, or seeds from mature trees that have started producing the seed pods. Both options provide a lucrative income with Botanica paying the farmers per kilogramme of leaves or seeds supplied. One hectare can yield 60 tons of leaves per year, while one tree can provide up to six kilogrammes of seed per year. The 20 hectare fields each have around 12 000 trees.
Recently, Botanica has approached various stakeholders in the local communities to add the planting of Bulbine as a cash crop. Bulbine is planted in between the moringa trees and can be harvested every six weeks. This ensures a sustainable income for the farmers every six weeks. This will add significant value to the outgrowers as they tend to their moringa orchards and plan for the first harvest.