ELIZABETH CHATUVELA, Mongu
CIVIL Society Environmental Fund from Finland has injected K1.3 million in the Moringa Plant Project which seeks to improve food security and nutrition in Mongu and Nalolo districts in Western Province.
The project will cover three villages.
The two-year project will be spearheaded by CELIM Zambia which will spend K200,000 on the project.
CELIM project manager Jacopo Turin said in an interview here that the project, which also aims at mitigating climate change, will be implemented in Kalundwana, Namushakende and Nanjucha villages using products of the Moringa tree.
Mr Turin said 153 people from the named villages will benefit directly while 765 people will indirectly benefit from the project.
“The goal of the project is to enhance socio-economic conditions and resilience of the population in Western Province and is expected to increase the production of traditional crops and enrich and diversify nutritional values,’’ he said.
Mr Turin said 76,500 Moringa trees are expected to be planted in the named villages by the end of 2018.
He said farmers who are set to benefit from the project will be trained in Moringa cultivation as well as how to use the Moringa juice as fertiliser and growth booster.
“Practical training on the utilisation of Moringa in food preparation will be conducted as well as training on the benefit effects of Moringa in contrasting climate change effects and in particular, deforestation also through agro forestry techniques,’’ he said.
Mr Turin said the project has received overwhelming support from village headmen who had pledged to work with CELIM to ensure the project is successful.
He said the villagers had also shown support by participating in preparing fields for the tree-planting exercise.
Mr Turin said the Moringa tree, which is draught-resistant, grows well in tropical and sub-tropical climate and thrives in sandy areas.
The Moringa tree takes six months to mature and its flowers, leaves, seeds, roots and oil are used for treating different ailments.