Ethiopia – Reinforcing the value-chain of moringa, a plant with many beneficial properties

Arbaminch - The moringa plant has multiple important qualities. It is employed in cosmetics and medicine, but above all it provides important nutritional benefits, particularly in terms of protein, iron and vitamin A. Currently, protein deficiency afflicts 40% of Ethiopian children, causing problems in growth and mental development and leading to high infant mortality rates. In this context, the moringa’s properties, if fully exploited, can play an important role in reducing malnutrition. This is the motivation behind the Italian Development Cooperation Agency’s decision – backed by technical support from UNIDO, and with the patronage of Ethiopia’s First Lady, Roman Tesfaye – to finance a project for the “Promotion of Moringa Production in Ethiopian Rural Communities”. The Agency is investing a total of €984,230 in this initiative.

The project’s goal is to reinforce the connections between the country’s domestic market and local moringa producers, especially women, who traditionally use the plant in preparing food for their families, and particularly for integrating their children’s diet. The project will help establish a pilot line for working the plant and will strengthen the Ethiopian Public Health Institute by installing a laboratory there, to certify the quality of moringa samples. This project will offer an important contribution to the fight against malnutrition among the communities of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region (SNNPR), and intends to also create a virtuous development cycle in other parts of Ethiopia.

The agreement for launching the project’s activities was signed on February 23rd in Arbaminch by the Director of the UNIDO Agricultural Industry Division, Aurelia Calabrò, and by the Regional Minister for Agriculture, Tilahun Kebede, in the presence of the head of the AICS field office in Addis Ababa, Ginevra Letizia, and Ethiopia’s First Lady, Roman Tesfaye.

Press release [EN]

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