|Authors: ||J.D.H. Keatinge, A.W. Ebert, J.d'A. Hughes, R.-Y. Yang, J. Curaba|
|Keywords: ||sustainable production, income generation, agrobiodiversity, improved nutrition, traditional vegetables|
In Sustainable Development Goal 2, the UN has sought to abolish both hunger and malnutrition by ensuring the continuous supply of sufficient, wholesome food enabling people to shift towards adopting healthier, well-balanced diets.
In addition, it calls for the establishment of new ways to reduce current food wastage, farming in a manner which conserves biodiversity and environmental services, increases enterprise profitability through new business models and empowers women.
Finally, it seeks for governments to create coherent policies at all levels allowing these positive changes in farming systems to take place in every country.
Moringa will play a key role in helping these desirable visions be attained.
Moringa is a reasonably unique species as its fresh leaves and pods are both edible and extremely micro-nutrient dense.
Its dried leaves are a good micronutrient source in food fortification for chronically underfed and malnourished children.
It is a fast growing, productive tree that adapts well to a range of environments, especially in hot, semi-arid regions and is, thus, a climate-resilient crop.
It grows well in a wide range of production systems from a densely planted green vegetable repetitively harvested crop, to a fully-grown tree crop which can be harvested periodically when needed.
Use of this diversity of production systems in specialized environments can promote in-situ germplasm conservation, soil conservation, sustainable production systems, enhanced profitability and a continuous source of vitamins and minerals for small-holder farm families, and often NDASH all of these attributes together.
This species is thus a boon to women small-holders as it enables them to better provide their children with highly nutritious food direct from the family home garden or by procurement in the local market.
Likewise, its good productivity and wide range of adaptability helps to develop resilience in farm enterprises and to ensure better enterprise profitability and sustainability.
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