Newton Amaglo has dedicated much of his adult life to studying, understanding, and teaching students at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana about the Moringa oleifera plant. Why this plant? Because the amazing Moringa leaf is known to be a rich and cheap alternative source of protein, vitamins and minerals, and thus a potential solution to the malnutrition and hunger pandemic in our world!
In 2008 Newton and Christian Action and Support (ChAS) received a small Community Grant from Spirit in Action to contribute to the government efforts towards reducing poverty, through combating malnutrition, providing access to safe water and energy, creating jobs and preserving the environment. Newton proposed that his could be done through promoting the development of the value chain of the Moringa oleifera plant: growing, processing and marketing.
From the Moringa leaves, high nutritive value food supplement for malnutrition can be produced; seeds can make oil for biofuels, leaves can be ground into powders to add to food, and a cake can be processed and used for water purification and other traditional medicine uses.
Since receiving the grant Newton and his colleagues have lead over hundred workshops all across Ghana in churches, military barracks, schools, jails, etc. They have also been able to garner extensive media support through the television, radio and newspapers. Newton shares that there are all kinds of innovations using Moringa, like soap, Moringa leaf powder infusion bags, capsules, etc. This expansion of the Moringa market, and a sale of one ton of Moringa seeds to Cameroon, which was organized by ChAS, has generated many more income opportunities and stability for their Moringa growers.
As a “Sharing the Gift” project (SIA’s program for “Paying it Forward”), Newton reports “we have trained the MNISTRY of FOOD and AGRICULTURE (MOFA) staffs of two districts on the growing and processing of Moringa. Each district has at least 40 extension officers. We decided to train them so that they will be in the position to train the farmers under their care. We have had a workshop to train all extension offers of the 22 districts in Ashanti region.”