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Moringa Project for Tijuana, Mexico

By Raising Nutrition – Founder Mariko Davis Gifford


Introduction

Moringa is well established as a plant with the highest nutritional value of any plant yet tested. There is already an established promotional program in Mexico for farmers to grow Moringa.  Due to the delicate nature of the Moringa leaf, the harvest and processing procedures are very specific. Industry methods have proven to produce contaminated product. The current market is heavily populated with Moringa that has not been harvested or processed to produce Moringa fit for human consumption.  

As an on-going concern, I have made all of my methods available for others, especially competitors, so that we all may have quality Moringa.  Moringa is used by many with compromised health and as a major food source for survival which amplifies this concern.  Over the years, I have trained and facilitated many Moringa projects around the world.  Due to the existing climate of competition rather than cooperation, there have been many who would not bridge this issue and have continued on with limited or partial information.  

It is our goal to establish a neutral cooperation/coalition whereby Moringa workers can be fully trained in the necessary methods that produce clean Moringa of the highest quality. Recognizing the wisdom of local traditional farming methods, I will seek this wisdom and employ low technology, low impact design with the highest adaptability between remote rural locations to the inner city, urban farm. Rural area support will also include soil and water test kit development. Currently availability water technology will be used.

I have already begun to work with a Moringa Growing Cooperative in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico. I have a request for additional projects involving 900 farmers in southern Mexico, as well as a request for a commercial project in Mexicali. Besides the multitude of business and projects in the US and Canada, I have consulted on Moringa projects in many countries including, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Chile, Vietnam, Philippines, Jamaica, Haiti, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Congo. From my experience so far, there is a lot of training needed in the harvest and processing phases of having a successful Moringa business.  Certain areas need specialized instructions because of climate issues.  

Establishing Moringa Farms with specific training will produce the highest quality of Moringa available on the market today. Establishing markets for Moringa as a fresh food will be streamlined by utilizing up-to-date educational avenues currently in place within the Mexican government levels.  A Moringa Processing Facility provides a model as well as a location for the correct processing of Moringa essential for producing premium Moringa.  Moringa Nursery activities compliment the Moringa Farm and provide an additional source of income in the sale of Moringa Seedlings and Moringa Trees.  It also establishes the Moringa Farmer as the expert in growing Moringa to provide the expertise for the consumer.  A common problem for farmers is to fully utilize their harvest.  To ensure the full use of product/labor output, all overage will be made into Moringa Leaf Powder for use in Catastrophe Relief.  

To achieve the goal of producing the highest quality Moringa products, Microbiology Lab testing is essential.  A training program that leads to certification is necessary.  I will develop a Moringa Protocol with the establishment of a certification arm – Moringa Quality Assurance Certificate.  Moringa Corps will be trained in all facets of Moringa production, harvest, processing, and marketing.  Raising Nutrition for Mexico is the prime directive for this Moringa Project.  The Mexican population will be the primary beneficiaries of this Moringa production and its products. Additional and primary uses of Moringa also include treatment for a host of ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, liver function, inflammation illness, cancer, Aids, HIV and many more.  Gathering recipes and producing a Moringa Recipe Book and cooking classes and utilizing local herbs and spices will enable easy transition into the daily fare.

Secondary to Raising Nutrition for the Mexican population is developing an inclusive Business Plan for economic growth and development.  Establishing a Moringa Protocol for Mexico will be the model for a world wide Moringa Protocol.  Tijuana’s Moringa Training Facility and Certification Program will be the model for Mexico and subsequently, a world-wide enterprise focusing on the tropical belt, the area where Moringa grows best and the area of the highest levels of mal – nutrition as established by the World Health Organization.  All the parts of Moringa are beneficial.  Besides the high nutritional value of the leaf, other parts of the tree can also be used as medicines.  These will be combined into a Survival Kit for Catastrophe Relief, to be warehoused and drop-shipped where needed.

Moringa has a natural growth hormone and can be used to promote the growth of itself and other vegetation.  A foliar spray increases agricultural yield by up to 35% using standard commercial applications for small to large commercial size parcels.  As an animal fodder, it increases weight gain for meat production up to 23% and 43 – 65% for increased milk production.  This method simultaneously regenerates the soil and does not contaminate water supplies reducing secondary agricultural costs while securing continuous health of human, animals, water and soil.

 Moringa is a tropical tree.  Because Central and Southern Mexico have the proper growing climates, there are many locations that are suitable for year round Moringa Production. With large enough parcels in production, northern Mexico can produce quantities to support local demands; however, Moringa will be dormant during the winter months in this region.  Central and southern Mexico can be employed for commercial quantities that can supply Mexico at large as well as US and international demands.  NAFTA regulations can come into play in the movement of Moringa.  Moringa requires NO regulation by the USDA and so is ideal for cross border commerce.


Phase I   

Moringa Farms


Timeline: Immediate

Preparation of soils, ordering of equipment and supplies for the growing season is upon us Securing land and existing farms for set up of this endeavor

Spring is the preparation time for all growing endeavors with Moringa.  Soil preparation:  Depending on the location, additional measures must be employed to ensure a successful harvest. 

Description of Activities:  

Assessment of land, perimeters, water supply/ irrigation/pathogen testing

Assessment of facility for harvest logistics, equipment and transportation

Assessment of pest management, bio remediation/soil testing/amendments

Aerating soil and layout of fields/planting of fields, water retention plan

Development of a foliar spray for use in agriculture

Development of animal fodder for use in animal husbandry


*Harvest: Stage One - Fresh Moringa Products: 

Wholesale and Retail Product Development

Assessment of harvest logistics, equipment/supplies

Assessment of wholesale/retail market sourcing

Establish fulfillment strategy and implementation

Moringa Cooking Classes: Using local fare, teach classes on how to use and prepare Moringa fresh or dried.  Gather recipes to be included in a Moringa Recipe Cook Book 


*Harvest – Stage Two - Dried Moringa Products: 

Wholesale, Retail Product Development

Assessment of harvest logistics, equipment/supplies

Assessment of wholesale/retail market sourcing

Establish fulfillment strategy and implementation

Moringa Cooking Classes: Using local fare, teach classes on how to use and prepare Moringa fresh or dried.  Gather recipes to be included in a Moringa Recipe Cook Book 


*There are two distinct Moringa products.  One is Fresh Moringa, the other Moringa Leaf Powder.  Stage One is for Fresh Moringa Production.  Stage Two includes Stage one and continues through the drying process to create the Moringa Leaf Powder.


Phase II

Moringa Nursery

Timeline: Immediate

Preparation of soils, ordering of equipment and supplies for the growing season is upon us Securing land/existing farms for set up of this enterprise. Spring is the preparation time for all growing endeavors with Moringa.  Soil preparation:  Depending on the location, additional measures must be employed to ensure a successful growth

Description of Activities:

Establish a Moringa Nursery for nursery stock as well as Moringa trees and seedlings for domestic sale

3 stage plantings – 1st year seedlings, 2nd year seedlings, 3rd year trees, nursery stock, cuttings

Calculate supplies: soil, soil amendments, containers, water catchments 

Create nursery stock

Develop and Teach ‘How to Grow Moringa’ Class

Central location or decentralized located at each Moringa Farm


Phase III

Moringa Processing Facility

Timeline: Immediate

Depending on the facility acquired, there may be preparation/repairs/construction needed to ensure the security, sanitation and proximity to the farms.  Location is primary as Moringa heats up once it is harvested and must be processed immediately to ensure quality and expedition of the drying process.  For the purposes of this proposal, the facility is presumed to be already constructed.  In the case that the facility must be constructed additional appendix can be supplied at a later date.

Simultaneous with the planting schedule, the facility must be established and in ready condition for the precise coordination of harvest-to-process timing.  This is the exact point where most facilities fail.  Moringa must be processed immediately after harvest and fully dried within the same day.

Description of Activities:

Assessment of structure, security, square footage for each work station

Assessment of equipment/supplies/materials

Assessment of technology/phone/internet access


Fresh Moringa Products

Clean and sanitize work stations

Layout procedures: Wash station, rinse station, drying station, 

packing/shipping/delivery

Dry Moringa Products

Layout procedures: Wash station, rinse station, dry station, dry heat room, monitor schedule, dryness evaluation, dry storage, grinding to powder

Microbiology Lab Testing: 

Standard plate count, coli forms, e-coli, salmonella, fungus and mold

Evaluate lab tests for upgrades to the procedure

Certificate of Analysis available for retail or wholesale needs


Phase IV

Moringa Product Development – Business Plan

Timeline: In coordination with all production

Description of Activities

Write a business plan with 1 year, 5 year and 10 year markers

Assessment of local fresh foods and herb use/pricing

Market Research on stores for local delivery

Market Research for country wide knowledge and current uses

Assessment of current transportation routes for wider distribution sourcing


Fresh Moringa as whole food and as an Ingredient: 

Branding – Hecho en Mexico

Market research for local products pairing with Fresh Moringa

Branding – Hecho en Mexico

Assessment of Superfoods Markets/Supplements with Moringa Leaf Powder

Research as stand alone product/ ingredient

Assessment and implementation of distribution networks

Distribution of Moringa Recipe Book


Phase V

Moringa Quality Assurance Certification

Timeline: Immediate 

In coordination with the completion of the Moringa harvest for certification of participating Moringa Farmers

Description of Activities:

Develop Training Curriculum for Moringa Quality Assurance

How to Grow Premium Moringa Users Manual

Employ site specific Soil Sciences

Foundation for Agriculture Practices, Pest Management, Sanitation Practices, Harvest Procedures, Drying Process, Market Entry


Annual Certification

Moringa Quality Inspectors – Moringa Corps

Scheduled and Random inspections of Certified Farmers 

Organic Certification Model – Interface with Mexican Organic Certification Agencies as well as International Organic Certification Agencies. United States and International Markets recognize these standards so entry into these markets will be seamless.  Import/Export requirements will determine the sequence of Market Strategies



Phase VI

Catastrophe Relief

Timeline: Tied to Moringa Leaf Powder Production Overage

As Moringa Farmers have overage of Moringa Leaf Powder and

In accordance with International Red Cross protocol, develop and deliver Nutrient Dense Foods and medical supplies to catastrophe areas

Description of Activities:

Produce Moringa Relief Kit: 1. Moringa Nutritional Pack: Moringa Leaf Powder and condensed foods of delicious and highly nutritious packs easy access packaging to be warehoused for delivery to catastrophe areas when and where needed

  1. Moringa First Aid Kit:

Moringa Seed Oil – Antibacterial -  Wounds and skin issues,  Moringa Seed Cake - Water clarifying, Moringa Spagyric – Immune Defense, Antiseptic


Summary
This Raising Nutrition Moringa project incorporates growing, processing and marketing Moringa successfully and using this avenue for improving the health and welfare of the general public.  This is accomplished by utilizing local traditional wisdom combined with proven practices from my 15 year experience of growing Moringa and producing a variety of Moringa products.  The ripple effect is far reaching and only limited by our innovative collective imaginations. While Raising Nutrition, we are also raising nutritional awareness together with education, lifting the standard of living in a wide range of the population.  The benefits for these end products remain within Mexico before being made available to others.  This pilot project provides the model for other areas within Mexico as well as being a model for the tropics where Moringa grows best and there is the highest levels of mal- nutrition on the planet.

Summary of Work

Training for self reliance in Premium Moringa Production

Raising Nutrition for the general population with the target areas of child bearing men and women, children, pregnant and nursing mothers.

Raising Nutrition for soil health, water, domestic cattle and livestock

Raising Nutrition for areas hit by catastrophic event

Raising Nutrition for the tropics by pilot Moringa project


Detailed budget and further descriptions and explanations available upon request


What’s Needed


Farms/Land

Already established farms would expedite the project.  Land would require additional labor and equipment for clearing, securing, tilling etc.  

Facility/Offices

Structure for housing the processing, drying and packing.  Offices for conducting business, training classes, branding

Commercial Kitchen- for processing foods both fresh and dried

Transportation

Flatbed trucks, panel trucks for moving product between farms to processing and delivery.

Equipment

Farm equipment for working the land, specific to each parcel as needed, specific machinery for processing, drying, packing and shipping.

Funding: Depending on what can be garnered, funds would be needed for any or all phases 


Once initiated, each area will be evaluated and lists generated for:

Personnel, Operations, Vehicles, Equipment and Materials for seeking additional funding and resource needs


Primary Employment and Income Sources:

Moringa Farms, Moringa Processing Facility, Moringa Nursery, Fresh Moringa Foods, Dried Moringa Leaf Powder, Moringa Recipe Book Publishing, Moringa Cooking Classes, Nutrition Awareness Classes – Child bearing age Men and Women, Agricultural Products, Catastrophe Relief Products.


Areas of Employment:

Agriculture, Construction, Business Management, Teachers, IT, Engineering, Publishing, Nutritional Consultants, Soil Science, Agri-Tourism, Marketing and Advertising, Product Development, Branding, Herbalists, Humanitarian Relief, Internships for Students


Secondary Employment and Income Sources:

Commissary Kitchen Rental, Drying Facility Rental, Branding Hecho en Mexico umbrella for other products, Branding Hecho en TJ, Agri-tourism – Moringa Convention, 


Professional Support Partnering with:

Soil Scientists, Engineers, Traditional Farmers, IT Specialists, Humanitarian Community 

Humanitarian Support Partnering with:

Dr. Weston Price –Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation,  Buckminster Fuller Institute, Heroes Like Us, Others to be identified. 


Strategies for System Design:

Work within the already existing climate of humanitarian work in Mexico. Research current design system in placing this project.  When no system is in place, design a Moringa Design System Pilot

 

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