Supporting non-profits working with moringa to reduce malnutrition

March 2015 Partner Campaign:

HELP DISCOVER THE MOST NUTRITIOUS MORINGA PLANTS IN THE WORLD

By purchasing Kuli Kuli Moringa Products

$ 541.22

Purchased of $2000 goal.

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How this works

For every dollar of moringa products purchased through this page, 15% of proceeds go directly to our partner organization to fund this campaign.

The International Moringa Germplasm Collection aims to provide the necessary research material to transform moringa from a plant with a great deal of anecdotal evidence, a long tradition of human use, and much promise in laboratory studies, to one with comprehensive scientific proof.

Why Aren’t Humanitarian Projects Using the Most Nutritious Moringa?

People in the tropics worldwide use the "miracle tree" Moringa oleifera as a leaf vegetable to combat deficiencies of protein or vitamin A, to produce high quality seed oil, to treat diabetes, to help prevent cancer, and to purify water, among many other applications. However, all of these activities are carried out simply with the moringa plants that come to hand. In humanitarian projects worldwide, moringa variants with the highest yields of digestible protein are not used, for the simple reason that the scientific studies necessary to identify them and make them available have never been carried out. These studies have not been carried out because the necessary plant material has not been available. Like all organisms, plants vary in their properties across species and between individuals. But all 13 species of Moringa have never been studied in detail, so it is impossible to know which one is the best for a given application. Moreover, it is essential to examine a wide range of genetic variation within species as well, to be sure that we have identified the "best of the best" moringas. However, most Moringa species live in remote and harsh dry tropical habitats of Africa, southern Asia, and Madagascar, and until now there has been no systematic attempt to gather the necessary material in one place and make it available for much-needed research.

How the International Moringa Germplasm Collection Can Fix This

This project, The International Moringa Germplasm Collection, aims to provide precisely the material necessary for transforming moringa from a plant with a great deal of anecdotal evidence, a long tradition of human use, and much promise in laboratory studies, to one with a maximally solid and comprehensive scientific proof. The Moringa germplasm collection spans samples of Moringa oleifera from cultivated sources worldwide, as well as from some putatively wild populations. In addition, it includes most of the other species of the genus. No other collection includes such a wide array of Moringa’s genetic variation, all based on carefully curated material. This collection will fuel high quality research aimed to identify the “best of the best” moringas for a given application.
With an international team of collaborators, we are currently examining nutritional variation, including protein and mineral content, cancer chemopreventive activity, and moringa genetics. This work will help identify the moringas with the highest protein content, the protein most readily available to the body, and will help identify how moringa has been moved around the world.

Why We Need Your Help

The core of this research program is made up of the living plants in the germplasm collection. They are being grown at an ideal dry tropical botanical garden on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The success of Moringa research long term depends on the health of the plants in the germplasm collection, because without large, healthy trees, there is no way to gather the material necessary for scientific studies. Keeping the trees healthy means assuring support to pay our two gardeners, and buy basic supplies. Moringa trees don’t ask for much, and just a few thousand dollars a year will make sure we have a healthy germplasm collection that will fuel decades of high quality research to transform moringa from a plant with great promise to one rock solid proof.

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