Moringa SASUF event: connecting research priorities

Moringa, often referred to as the “miracle tree,” has been utilized by people for centuries for a variety of purposes, including food, medicine, fodder, oil, and more. The most commonly consumed parts are the leaves and pods, which are rich in essential macro and micronutrients. Additionally, various plant parts are used to prevent and treat various ailments. Moringa leaves, particularly, are renowned for their numerous therapeutic benefits, such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects. Dried leaves are traded as nutritional supplements and medicine, while the seeds serve as a source of edible oil, biofuel, and effective flocculant agents for water purification.

As part of the SASUF Satellite Events 2024, a hybrid event focused on moringa was organized at the SLU campus in Alnarp, celebrating Fascination of Plants Day. This full-day event, dedicated to the species Moringa oleifera Lam. and Moringa stenopetala (Baker f.) Cufod., featured numerous presentations by renowned experts from South Africa and Ethiopia. The day was divided into three sessions:

  1. Climate Change – Water and Soil Management
  2. Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Effects on Moringa
  3. Moringa Leaf Extract as Plant Biostimulant

The event was attended by approximately 10 people on-site and up to 30 people online. You can check the full programme here; some of the presentations can be downloaded below.

Nutritional water productivity of Moringa under varying sustainable agronomic practices – Ambrose Ndayakunze, ARC, South Africa

Research on Moringa: Current trends & impact of climate change – Awoke Guadie, Arba Minch University, Ethiopia

Water use and crop performance under drip and effect of Self-Regulating, Low Energy, Clay-based Irrigation (SLECI) systems – Hunadi Chaba, ARC, South Africa

Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Influence on Growth and Development of moringa oleifera under planting density’s stress – Tshephiso Khoza, University of Mpumalanga, South Africa

Analyzing food, energy, and water uses of a multifunctional tree: A case of Moringa – Nadia Araya, ARC, South Africa

Moringa leaf extracts as plant biostimulants in Africa and beyond: Utilisation, Composition and Efficiency – Silvia Faravelli, SLU Alnarp

Moringa stem biochar as a soil amendment to improve soil moisture retention – Simon Maleka, ARC, South Africa

Main photo: Moringa oleifera, by Silvia Faravelli