Nam’s miracle tree lands in EU market

• By Confidente Reporter

THE Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta says Climate change has the potential to undermine economic development, particularly the natural resource-based sectors of the economy such as the agriculture, environment and fisheries sectors.

Shifeta made the remark at the official handover of the Likwaterera Plantation, a Moringa production project held last week.

Shifeta, pointed said the Likwaterera Moringa Plantation demonstrates the potential in effectively addressing issues of unemployment, foreign earning and build momentum for sustainable economic growth in the country.

“I am proud to learn that the community in Likwaterera area sees an opportunity to diversify their farming practices and not only rely on rainfed production but sees opportunities for a paradigm shift and actually produce one of the most international recognised plants, the Moringa Oleifera, for its medicinal, nutritional and other benefits. The Likwaterera Moringa plantation demonstrates the potential in effectively addressing issues of unemployment, foreign earning and build momentum for sustainable economic growth in our country.

Moringa oleifera also known as “tree of life,” and “miracle tree” is one of the most nutritious plants in the world. It has a wide range of nutritional and bioactive compounds, making this plant a powerful Antioxidants from plant- based sources such as Moringa powder that are considered the best. It should not surprise us that this product finds its market share in the European market, let’s continue to increase its production and domesticate the plant for more foreign earning,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, Rundu Rural Constituency Regional Councilor, Paulus Mbangu, appreciated the innovative funding under which the project was funded by the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia.

“Community Management Committee should encourage community members to plant more Moringa trees as there is a market for the Moringa production in order to allow the community to transform their livelihoods and set examples for other communities in Namibia,” he said.

Situated in the Rundu Rural Constituency in the Kavango East Region, Likwaterera Community Forest Conservancy Resilience Horticultural project was funded to the tune of N$ 5,299,539.25 under Ecosystem Based Adaptation investment window under the Empower to Adapt (EDA) project, which is centered around Creating Climate Change Resilient Livelihoods through Community Based Natural Resource Management in Namibia (CBNRM EDA Project).

The project titled ‘Unleashing the potential of Climate Change Strategy for Likwaterera Community Forest,’ was funded by the Environmental Investment Fund and is being implemented by the Likwaterera Community Forest in Kavango East region.

The project focuses on scaling up the organic production of the Moringa oleifera as a form of diversification of livelihoods and sustainable community development. The Likwaterera Community Forest covers an area of 13790 hectares and has been highly affected by deforestation, land degradation which has resulting in low productivity of forest resources and consequently and income for the community.

The Project aims to increase resilience to climate change through introducing climate resilient agricultural practices and use of appropriate technologies, so as to improve livelihoods of the community, while safeguarding and preserving the community forest for future generations. To date, a ten-hector piece of land is fenced off, with five hectors under Moringa plantation. In addition, the project has successfully constructed a Moringa processing warehouse, installed five 10 000-liter water tanks, and procured animal feed processing machine to benefit this project.

The project has further hosted rain water harvesting training and constructed rainwater harvesting infrastructure. Furthermore, the project has directly benefited a total of 60 households by establishing backyard Moringa plantation at their respective households for them to supply and supplement moringa harvest at the main plantation hub. It is my understanding that the moringa plantation site under this project has obtained international certification standard allowing the produced moringa product to access to the European market and generate income for Likwaterera Community.

The Environmental Investment Fund is Namibia’s own response to the growing global need for green financing and was established in terms of the Environmental Investment Fund Act, Act 13 of 2001 with a mandate to raise funding for investments into projects and programmes that promote sustainable development.

It is currently one of the fastest growing green and climate financing institutions in Africa.