Climate zone: Tropical – Dry – Temperate – Continental – Polar
The moringa tree (Moringa oleifera) which grows in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world is known for various purposes. While its fruit pods – also known as drumsticks – are edible, its roots and leaves can be turned into moringa powder and oil can be derived from its seeds. The products are popular in the health and superfood sector as they are praised for their medicinal properties and nutritional value.
Those benefits make the moringa tree an excellent plant for agroforestry systems. It grows well in alley cropping, fosters food security and nutrition, and provides a valuable income source for farmers.
Moringa can be combined with a range of crops especially because they’re trees (due to less competition). You could combine it with pasture, tropical legumes (a whole range of beans, peas, peanut/groundnut, lentils, tamarind, etc), and vegetables and tubers like cassava, pumpkin, tomato, kale, and okra. It’s better not to combine Moringa with cereals, but the science around Moringa intercropping is still developing.
Moringa’s popularity in the wellness industry isn’t by mistake. This superfood has the potential to reduce stress, balance hormones, protect the liver, fight free radicals, reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and support brain health. All in all, the Moringa tree contains a high concentration of vitamins, dietary minerals, and proteins.
It’s also good for the environment! Its processed leaves provide a powerful fertilizer, and its roots aid in soil erosion prevention. In a nutshell, the Moringa is a “magic tree” whose properties are used in a variety of development programs.