Are the Villagers Being Abused Regarding Moringa oleifera Production?

About six years ago, when I was working in a quality control lab in my home country, we started getting a lot of samples from on local products such as Hibiscus sabdariffa (Bissap), Baobab tree powder (Bouy), etc. But the most remarkable were samples of Moringa oleifera, locally called Nebeday in my country. We know that is was used in traditional medicine and in making the sauce for what we called “Thiere Mboum”, a well appreciated local meal. The fact that we were getting more Moringa samples such as the entire leaves, powder, seeds like never before made us to pay more attention on it. Furthermore, one day I saw my brother drying Moringa leaves under the balcony after coming back from the national park where he exercises on weekends. He started giving Moringa tea to his kids every day.  Many people begun paying more attention to Moringa after many scientific papers were published regarding health benefits and other properties of this plant. Many people would only use it when recommended by traditional doctors. But since then, I have been reading more and more about Moringa and my findings brought me to start using Moringa leaves powder daily in my consumption and advise people to use it in a regular base. I also found that people are now doing businesses and making a lot of money on activities surrounding these plants. However, I do not think that some are doing it in an ethical way. For instance, recently I was discussing with one of my brothers about doing business on our local products, Moringa included. He was not aware of the profits people can get just by the production of Moringa. And he suddenly says “Oh so that is why one guy (referring to a foreigner) is there in a village in our region producing Moringa?”. My reaction was oh my God! Yes, that was my reaction because even though some of them care and tried to help local people, these foreigners sometimes never tell the truth to people in rural areas. They just care about making profit and that`s it. And as people in my country like sharing and helping, I am sure they might host him in their house, help him in planting and harvesting his Moringa, etc. They might be doing everything for free or for just little amount of money while the guy will be making money selling his products directly online or supplying retailers in town or abroad. Since then I cannot stop thinking about that and feel a moral obligation to do something. I do not know where that will take me but what come to my mind whenever I think about this fact is inciting to action. Everything might be okay, but if you have learned about what happen to many people in similar conditions, you will always have some doubts. I have no problem with people who do business (whether they are local or foreigners) in our resources (mostly plants that have health benefits) as that can help promote those products and satisfy consumers’ needs for healthier diets. But people should be treated fairly.  What should I do? How will I proceed in case that the guy is proceeding in an unethical way? Please shoot me some ideas in case you have some.

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One thought on “Are the Villagers Being Abused Regarding Moringa oleifera Production?”

  1. It is definitely awesome to hear your story and perspective on this issue! I’ve never heard anything about this but you’ve inspired me to look into the topic myself.

    Like

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