Moringa: the life´s plant
More than fifty hectares in around ten hired county estates from Barranco Hondo to San Miguel, and an invoicing building in the industrial estate of Güimar that provides job to forty people; those are the basics that brought to German company Moringa Garden, whose president is Andreas Kraus, to become a pioneer in a new sector in the Canary Islands. Mr. Kraus discovered the nutritious traits of a tree which comes from India and has found in the southern part of Tenerife the proper climate (from 25 to 30 degrees) and weather that needs to become a big industry.
It is all about the moringa, a plant which is known as the plant of life due to its high nutritive value and its consideration as foodstuff. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the moringa contains 18 of the 20 total amino acids and, among them, the nine amino acids which are valued as essentials.
Recently, all these benefits have made possible the fact that many countries have developed the moringa cultivation to fight against poverty and malnutrition. However, in Europe, until now, its interest has been only considered as an alimentary supplement in capsules or in drinks, not really in the direct consumption of fresh leaves.
Moringa Garden, well established in Tenerife after 5 years and based in Güimar, manufactures its products in an industrial unit of the industrial state. Moringa’s powder, removed from its leaves, is packed and exported to other European countries, mainly to Germany, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland, as well as Spain but in a lesser degree, where is still unknown.
The leaves of this tree –as well as its flowers and pods -, which can grows up to ten meters’ height, are a rich source of nutrients. Each 100 edible grammes implies to consume four times more vitamin A than the same quantity of carrots; seven times more vitamin C than the same quantity of oranges; double of calcium than the cow milk; three more times of cow milk; three times more potassium than the same proportion of bananas and more than two times of proteins than the milk of cows.
The Canary Islands are located in the same latitude (28º) than the moringa’s region of origin, in the north of India. This fact gives the Canaries the ideal climatological conditions for its growth. The plant’s introduction in Tenerife took place in 2010 and the first sowings failed. Since 2011 the plantation project was moved to a country state located in Chinguaro, Güimar, in the north of the island. From there, the plantation spread throughout all the south of the island, above all in abandoned rural states, free from fertilizers.