The Moringa Cooperative

Growing rural livelihoods through the potential of Moringa trees
2015 SEED South Africa Award Winner Sustainable Agriculture Limpopo Province, South Africa

The Moringa Cooperative is a for-profit business focused on improving food security in an impoverished rural area of South Africa. The enterprise is piloting to donate Moringa trees to local eco-schools, which are then cared for by teachers, students and young school leavers. The seeds will be harvested and pressed to extract organic oil, which is sold to local cosmetic raw ingredient manufacturer, 2014 SEED Award winner Botanica Natural Products.

It combines a nutritional product  – leaf powder – with a cosmetic by-product  – oil – to create a potentially profitable company that works with and supports local eco-schools and rural communities.

The enterprise is women-run and facilitates young women to gain skills, generate income and contribute to their communities. As the only organic Moringa oil producer in South Africa, the enterprise has established a promising new value chain from a local resource.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

The Moringa Cooperative educates teachers, school children and the broader community on the nutritional value of Moringa and other local species, as well as the value of biodiversity and indigenous plants in mitigating climate change.
  • Enhancing local food security by educating the community on the nutritional benefits of Moringa, and incorporating its leaves in schools' food programs.
  • Empowering women economically by providing stable employment to young female school leavers.
  • Improving biodiversity by planting 1,000 Moringa trees at each eco-school, and educating the community on the harmful nature of alien invasive species.
  • Mitigating the effects of climate change and soil erosion by planting indigenous Spekboom trees.
  • Putting a value on local resources, and establishing a niche market as the only organic Moringa oil producer in South Africa.
  • Providing eco-schools with the ability to sell Moringa leaf powder, generating revenue to fund other projects.

Partners

This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

The Moringa Cooperative is a for-profit enterprise that works with local schools and communities to cultivate Moringa trees.

Botanica Natural Products (Pty) Ltd purchases Moringa seed oils and markets them to African and European clients for cosmetic purposes.

Mogalakwena Research Centre conducts ecological and anthropological research in the local community and is involved in local eco‑school initiatives.

WESSA provides guidance on engaging with schools and local communities in a respectful and ethical way.

Ramaahlo and Modikoa schools are partners for the pilot phase and will receive Moringa for harvesting and cultivation.

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Melissa Lynch

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