With its market and demand increasing rapidly, a house leader is calling for the creation of a Malunggay Development Roadmap that will help strategically market malunggay (Moringa oleifera) in the local and international market and create new opportunities for farmers.
Deputy Speaker Sharon Garin, the author of House Bill 6555 (Malunggay Development Act), stressed the government support needed by the industry during the third deliberation of the Agriculture and Food Committee on establishing a national program for the Malunggay industry.
“This is a product endemic in our country. It can grow anywhere. It can grow in the backyards of the smallest houses in our communities. It is probably one of the least appreciated products. And similarly, like in mango or in any other products, we lack the proper marketing support, research and development, and all the other support that the government can give for this product and for the farmers,” Deputy Speaker Garin said.
While malunggay is a common plant in the Philippines, it was revealed in the committee hearing that due to low yields and low supply, the country is also importing malunggay from Africa and India. In 2016, only 35,379 metric tons was the recorded yield in the Philippines. Today, 100 grams of fresh malunggay is priced at 5 pesos and 100 pesos for 100 grams of dried ones.
Further, Deputy Speaker Garin also acknowledged that while the bill is not in the national spotlight, its eventual passage will tap the malunggay industry’s economic potential.
“It may not be a very glamorous bill right now, but it will go down to the benefit of those communities in which Malunggay is very abundant and very easy to plant,” she expressed.
Dubbed as “The Miracle Tree”, malunggay contains protein, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, beta-carotene, vitamins B1, B2, B3, and C, and has long been used as herbal medicine. One of the many benefits of malunggay is increasing the milk flow of lactating mothers.
Source: AAMBIS-Owa Party-list