Thursday, January 24, 2008
Thursday, December 6, 2007
The advantages of using Moringa in malnutrition prevention programs
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License
come to : Moringa Oleifera
1. Moringa’s leaves, flowers, bark, wood and roots are used worldwide for a large variety of medicinal purposes. But there are also many other uses for the tree. Among these:
2. Alley cropping : With their rapid growth, long taproot, few lateral roots, minimal shade and large production of high-protein biomass, Moringa trees are well-suited for use in alley cropping systems.3. Bio gas : Moringa leaves provide an excellent material for production of biogas.
4. Dye : The wood yields a blue dye which was used in Jamaica and in Senegal.5. Fencing : A common use of Moringa trees is as a living support for fencing around gardens and yards.
6. Foliar nutrient : Juice extracted from the leaves can be used to make a foliar nutrient capable of increasing crop yields by up to 30%.7. Green Manure : Cultivated intensively and then ploughed back into the soil, Manure can act as a natural fertilizer for other crops.
8. Gum : The gum produced from a cut tree trunk has been used in calico printing, in making medicines and as a bland-tasting condiment.9. Honey clarifier : Powdered seeds can be used to clarify honey without boiling. Seed powder can also be used to clarify sugar cane juice.
10. Honey producer : Flowers are a good source of nectar for honey-producing bees.11. Livestock feed : The high bioavailability of Moringa leaves and stems make them an excellent feed for cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and rabbits.
12. Oil : The seed kernels contain about 40% edible oil, similar in quality to olive oil.13. Ornamental : In many countries, Moringa trees are planted in gardens and along avenues as ornamental trees.
14. Plant disease prevention : Incorporating Moringa leaves into the soil before planting can prevent damping off disease (Pythium debaryanum) among seedlings.15. Pulp : The soft, spongy wood makes poor firewood, but the wood pulp is highly suitable for making newsprint and writing paper.
16. Rope making : The bark of the tree can be beaten into a fiber for production of ropes or mats.17. Tannin : The bark and gum can be used in tanning hides.
18. Water purification : Powdered seed kernels act as a natural flocculent, able to clarify even the most turbid water.
Fuglie, L., 1995. Répertoire des associations villageoises en Casamance. CWS/Dakar. 132p.
Fuglie, L., 1998. Producing food without pesticides. Local solutions to crop pest control in West Africa. CWS/Dakar and CTA/Wageningen. 158p.Fuglie, L. 1999. The Miracle Tree. Moringa oleifera: natural nutrition for the tropics. CWS/Dakar. 68p.Fuglie, L., and M. Mane, 1999. L’arbre de la vie. Moringa oleifera: Traitement et prévention de la malnutrition. CWS/Dakar. 76p.Fuglie, L. (ed) et al, 2001. The Miracle Tree. The multiple attributes of Moringa. CWS/Dakar and CTA/Wageningen. 172p.Fuglie, L. (ed) et al, 2002. L’arbre de la vie. Les multiples usages de Moringa. CWS/Dakar and CTA/Wageningen. 177p.
Lowell Fuglie and Moringa : Establishment of new Moringa project in the North of Ghana
www.moringanews.org/documents/Leafproduction.doc : “Intensive Moringa oleifera cultivation in the north of Senegal.”
www.moringatrees.org : Overview of CWS Moringa promotion project.
www.tropentag.de/2003/proceedings/node273.html : Improving livestock nutrition with Moringa.
http://tinyurl.com/6uw32 : Traditional health alternatives: The Discovery Health Channel.
www.unesco.org/most/bpik10-2.htm : “Improving nutrition with Moringa “miracle” trees in Senegal.” Best Practices on Indigenous Knowledge : UNESCO/MOST.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Travel to Southern Guangdong, China
When the Southern China Airliner descends for landing in Guangzhou's International, we see myriads of glittering lights below us. The time is early evening 1900 hours.In summer days, the air stands heavy and polluted in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong. A center of industrialization, the immense amount of manufacturing units add its share to modern days's plight of greenhouse emissions. We sigh when we leave the Airport, nearly melting in the humid, stifling atmosphere that has engulfed the city. Millions of people work here, like in the other big centers across China. Guangzhou is a showcase for the industrial revolution, its International Fair held twice a year draws Billions of foreign capital to the Chinese Economy. The official figures claim 10 Billion Dollars are received in orders during 10 days of Spring fair, and the same happens 4 times a year.
Our contact man Mr. Wu is expecting us at the Exit with a signboard exhibiting our names clearly. After an initial welcoming ceremony we tend to the waiting cab and speed off towards the main bus terminal. We will continue the journey to southern Guangdong without a rest in the capital. Buses in China are plentiful, we depart from the southern terminal near the railway station.
Along the highway the familiar sights of China, as in every province the huge signboards lining the roads, to lure customers to displayed merchandise, the modern capitalistic features of are everywhere visible. I wonder how many times I must have seen the "HAIER" advert, written in huge letters on the billboard that we pass. Familiar scenes cross my mind. China, a gigantic country by all standards, a society which is diverse, unique in its size and its achievements. Nothing will stop China from achieving superiority status, there is no other nation where people work as hard as in this progressing Nation.
The bus speeds through the night, leaving the capital behind us, turning towards the southern parts, our destination unknown except for the name. We are anxious to see where we shall end up. Along the road huge Banana plantations which cater for the whole of the Chinese market, Guangdong's climate is ideally suited for the growing of fruits.
Where we will end up this night ? We wonder, and Mr. Wu tries to elaborate on some scenic spots along the road. Since months have we prepared to reach this part of China, and now the time has come to see the 'fruit city', famous for its Longans and Lychees, throughout the dynasties Emperors in Beijing demanded the best fruits from here.
After four hours of ride we finally reach, the Terminus looks typically provincial. Lots of characters linger around here, which I dislike. One should be careful at night, always watch ones bags. A Taxi in form of an 'Wulungxie' the Chinese version of a Minibus takes us to Mr. Wu's residence, he insists he wants us to stay at his home. Mr. Wu is a teacher in the Gaozhou 'Normal school', a Middle school with approx. 5000 Students. His residence is far outside, we cross rice fields, typical Chinese village like structures, and I regret not having insisted on staying in the city center. When the house is reached we recognize the residential structure of an apartment building, the ones covering China from North to South, East to West. Simple with basic utilities, enabling millions to live in an affordable home.
Through the dark staircase we reach the third floor, carrying our bags and start to sweat from the physical effort. As always I don't like to carry much baggage with me, this time I blame myself for not being persistent enough. Always revenging itself, a heavy load of baggage adds to your inconvenience when going to distant places.
When we enter we realize that we made a mistake to follow Mr. Wu's advice and lodge with him. The place is Spartan, to say the least. Our bedroom features two beds, hard wood as the source of a mattress, and a straw mat. There is lots of personal junk from the owner lying around. We decide to make it through this night, (anyway we do not have much of a choice). Mr. Wu is in high spirits, and he wishes us a good night before retiring. No one can find sleep, we are too tense, although very exhausted from the trip. When we doze off it is close to 0500 hours in the morning.
We awake to sounds of birds singing, the windows open and we can see rice paddies in front of the building. It's a lovely scene and we feel better than the night before when we arrived. Looking for a bathroom we find a basic, bare concrete floored shower and toilet room, enough to make you run back to where you came from. We look into the kitchen and see a heap of unwashed dishes, signs of Bachelor's life, and a rice cooker. Beside it a note, inviting us to have our breakfast consisting of rice congee. Two bowls and 2 pairs chop sticks lay beside the rice cooker, the congee is hot, the cooker was left on 'warm'. We are hungry and taste some congee, the common breakfast in China, 'Xi Fan' as it is called.
The note also says he had to attend to his class and will be back around 10 AM. We have made up our minds, we will leave at the earliest opportunity, trying not to offend the host. Hard to understand without knowing the mentality of Chinese People, they offer you their home and you do not want to accept it.
When Mr. Wu finally arrives we are ready to leave, he looks surprised. He is of the opinion that his house is more convenient than a Hotel, however he agreed and calls a Taxi. Again I carry the unnecessary weight of our luggage down the stairs.
Do to the remote location it takes almost 30 minutes till the 'Taxi' arrives. A Motorcycle with sidecar, and the luggage is all stowed away. Rattling through the suburbs, we now fully realize how far the place is from the center of town.
A hotel is quickly found and we now settle into a somewhat more familiar surrounding. Mr. Wu has accompanied us and helps us to settle in, with instructions to the chamber maid the 'Foo Yuan' in Pinyin. We need rest, for the night we spent without much sleep and ask to be excused for a few hours. Mr. Wu leaves and promises to return in the afternoon.
We drift into a deep sleep and I wonder, like so many times before, what will wait for us here. .
Next : The gardens of Eden.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
.I depart from Mandiana customs check point in the afternoon and hit the road towards Niani.Without a proper map (as there is none) the road is not clearly marked, especially its condition. To my astonishment I find it in much better condition than the ones I got used to since entering Guinea.
At 40-50 mph this seems a real highway to me. A few checkpoints on the way, nothing spectacular, the usual 'pay 'n drive' method works well here.
The scenery has changed into complete Savannah now. Grasslands and scrubs, solitary Baobab trees, but no more the dense tropical jungle.
Life in these areas is dreadful, no running water, no electricity, as in dark ages. People though can adapt to any condition that is put upon them.
We reach Niani at night close to 19 hours P.M. and my fuel is close to nil. Of course Niani, the border town must be having fuel, or so I think. What I finally find is not the usual filling station.After crossing the town, which is not much of a settlement, I am directed to the 'station'. I can not somehow forget this scene, it is another milestone on a long road through Africa.I find a petroleum lit grass hut, crooked stems serve as poles, a straw covered roof. The fuel is all filled in beer bottles of 0.7 ltrs, lined up in a row on front of the 'gas station'. If it were not for the acute shortage, I would laugh at this, but now I realize I have no choice, for after Niani there is a 100 miles nothing except bush and unknown territory.So I fill a 50 bottles of 'beer' gas, its price almost double inflated to the normal rate. I do not even want to look for food, for I know I have to continue to Mali tonight. So I leave, with a unforgettable memory in place.The evening brings some cool air, I sense the mighty river nearby. And when I reach the bonfire that is lit near the main road I recognize the Guinean border guards who camp here.To describe this would take another chapter, however this is an entry / exit point and I must say the guards are the friendliest I ever found in Guinea. The exit stamp in my passport, i carry on, the dark road passing through the middle of the bush, beside the river. Driving carefully in the dark, against my mentors advice, I focus my full attention on the rough road ahead of me. The river Sankarani I cant see, as it is dark, but to me it is more a lake than a river. Floating gently, but mightily. A build up to the mighty dam that feeds three quarters of Mali with electricity, the Barrage de Selingui. A gigantic project as I am to see later on. A premonition overcomes me I can't explain why, but I slow down my vehicle to a mere 10 mph. I cannot see the road ahead of me, and the high beams are not helping much either. I notice the concrete structure that stands in the dark was once a bride crossing a creek beneath. Now, the bridge has been washed away, and I am standing 6 meters over the creek that floats beneath under it. In the darkness I maneuver the car back and find a diversion I passed minutes ago, leading to the creek's bottom. The normal type of vehicle would not be able to drive through this makeshift road, but I manage to cross the waters which aren't deep surprisingly and climb up the other side to continue my journey.The road turns to the left and leads into pure grassland, with bumps shaking us to the brink. In the distance a see a shimmering light, a line decorated with obsolete plastic carrier bags in all colors indicate a further check point. No one in sight, in the middle of the Savannah. I blow my horn. It is now 20 hours and I still have to make headway, I force myself. After a few minutes a customs guy appears and tells me the border is closed for tonight, from his uniform I can see we have reached the Malian customs.I beg, a common way of getting things done in these parts, to let me pass, as I have pressing business in Bamako. After consultation for which he disappears back into the dark, he reappears and removes the rope that serves as a barrier. We cross the line and follow him, guiding us to a shelter build from grass, roots and pieces of logs. The papers I am asked to submit. He disappears into the hut, and I wait. 5 minutes, 10 minutes pass. After 15 minutes I follow him and see three customs officials inspecting my 'international vaccination card'.I am asked if all my vaccinations are in order, which I confirm. Something they must find, and in my case they ask me for a valid 'Vaccination contre Meningitis' as you guess right the vaccination against Meningitis is what delays my departure. 5000 CFA change their hands and I carry on through the night. next episode : night in the bush
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