Moringa Oleifera, known more commonly as moringa, is a fast growing and drought hardy tree native to India. Well established in Haiti, following its introduction almost a century ago, the moringa tree thrives in the Haitian climate and is known locally as doliv or benzoliv. Although most parts of the moringa can be used, it is best known for its leaves, which are the most nutritious part of the tree. The plant is rich in vitamins A, B, C, D and E and contains minerals and calcium. It is estimated to contain twice the protein and calcium of milk, several times the potassium of bananas, several times the vitamin C of orange and more iron than spinach. Moringa also contains high amounts of vitamin A, almost four times the amount found in carrots, a vitamin essential for reducing child malnutrition, morbidity, and mortality.
Moringa has seen a rise in popularity in Haiti over the past few years, thanks to a government led awareness campaign. At CNP/Kore Timoun, monitrices are trained to promote the use of moringa leaves within their communities and educate people on their nutritional benefits. Locally, the leaves are added to dishes such as soup and legumes during cooking, however they can also be consumed raw, or as a side dish.
CNP/Kore Timoun's Moringa Project began in March 2014 as a way of making moringa available to communities where the trees were not being grown. Two community groups expressed an interest in growing the trees, the Women's Group in Duplessy and the Health Committee in Konstan. These two communities each planted a moringa garden consisting of 60 trees each and received education on how best to care for the plants and why it is important to consume moringa. In 2016 CNP/Kore Timoun plans to enter the next phase of this project, during which we will work alongside the community to investigate the viability of developing moringa products derived from these gardens with the aim of creating financial income for the two communities.