DA pushes for ‘malunggay’ mass production, sale

By Lovella P. Guarin


TO address huge demand on “malunggay” (Moringa oleifera) and create vibrant malunggay-based enterprises in Bicol, the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) embarked on a P1-million Malunggay Production Project.


The HVCDP initially targets to establish 20-hectare “malunggay” (Moringa oleifera) production area in Bicol. In Camarines Sur, 10 hectares are targeted; Three hectares in Camarines Norte, Albay (five hectares) and Catanduanes (two hectares) within the year 2021.


The identified recipients of the project were validated last year. In Camarines Sur, the recipients include the: Organized Vegetable Association of San Roque Sagumay; Monte Calvario Smart Farmers Association (MOCSFA); Buhi Diversified Agri Beneficiary; Guinaban Multi-Purpose Cooperative; Minalabac Farmers Association; Biong Farmers Association, Inc.; Sto. Niño Vegetable Grower Association; Agripreneur Farmers and Producers Association, Inc.; Curry Vegetable Association; and NVAC (Naga View Adventist College).


In Camarines Norte, the target recipients are: San Lorenzo Ruiz Farmers Agriculture Cooperative; Manlimosito Agro Farms Association; and Laniton GK Farmers Association, all from San Lorenzo Ruiz.


In Albay, the target recipients are: RIC Doña Mercedes; Muladbucad Grande Samahang Magsasaka; Women’s Organization; AFBFPP Organization – all from Guinobatan; and Buang-Odalo Vegetable Farmers Association in Tabaco City.


In Catanduanes, the Virac Producers and Entrepreneur Association is the target recipient.


As an initial activity, the HVCDP conducted a two-day training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) on “malunggay” production held at the Macagang Business Center in Nabua, Cam. Sur on Mar. 24-25, 2021. Over 30 farmers from the 20 farmers’ associations identified recipients of the Malunggay Production Project attended said training.


The farmers organizations will receive a production package worth P46,401. The package shall consist of 10 bags organic fertilizer; one kilogram malunggay seeds; 8,000 pcs Polyethylene bags;black fine mesh Net; UV plastic; water hose; plastic crates; hand trowel; hand fork prong and hoe cultivator; water plastic drum; empty sacks; and laminated sacks.


Dr. Mary Grace DP Rodriguez, HVCDP regional coordinator and chief of DA’s Field Operations Division, said that these farmers’ organizations will be linked to the Mauswag Agribusiness Inc. based in Curry, Pili, Camarines Sur.


Owned by Vimildo Avanceña, the Mauswag Agribusiness Inc. is a commercial producer and processor of “malunggay” powder, which are being sold to pharmaceutical companies, supermarkets, and bakeries.


Avanceña is also a member of the Moringaling Philippines Foundation, Inc. (MPFI), an umbrella organization of “malunggay” producers and processors in the Philippines, which is connecting all stakeholders towards a globally competitive moringa industry.


“Malunggay” is seen as a solution to end the nutritional deficiencies common in Philippine rural areas and urban slums.


Studies have shown that 100 grams of “malunggay” leaves contain nine times the protein of yogurt, 10 times the vitamin A of carrots, 15 times the potassium of bananas, 17 times the calcium of milk, and 12 times the vitamins C of oranges.


“Malunggay” has great potential and demand locally and abroad due to its high nutritional content. It also called superfood due to its richness in antioxidant properties. The malunggay leaves and seed oil are the major materials used in the food and nutrition industry.


Avanceña was the resource speaker during the two-day training, which taught the participants on “malunggay” cultural management, propagation techniques, pest and disease prevention and control, and good agricultural practices (GAP).


Meanwhile, Arlene San Buenaventura discussed the elements and process of GAP certification. The training was facilitated by the Institutional Development Unit headed by Ellen Villareal. (RAFIS 5)