WHAT IS MORINGA?
Moringa tree, the environmental, social and economic powerhouse
Known for 5,000 years, the Moringa Oleifera tree originated from the foothills of the Himalayas in north-western India and now grows in tropical and subtropical areas of Asia, Africa and Central America. The Moringa tree grows fast, is drought-resistant and holds many positive botanical attributes such as a very high carbon-sequestration index and the highest level of antioxidants of all plants. From seed to leaves, all parts of the tree are usable.
Moringa, a champion of nutrition
Gram for gram, Moringa leaves contains twice the protein of yogurt, seven times the vitamin C of oranges, four times the calcium of milk, four times the vitamin A of carrots and three times the potassium of bananas.
Moringa leaves are an excellent source of 18 of the 20 amino-acids and all nine essentials amino-acids that humans can’t synthesize themselves. These precious fats that we need from our food assist in immunity, cardiovascular function, brain, vision, stress management and sleep quality.
With its 92 nutrients, 46 antioxidants and 36 anti-inflammatory, Moringa’s nutritional qualities are too many to be all named here.
Certain health benefits of Moringa are already substantiated by scientific studies: diabetes and inflammation management, lactation improvement and accelerated recovery of malnourished children.
Moringa oil : beauty inside and out
Moringa seeds produce a high-quality oil which nourishes and repairs the skin. This oil is very sought after by the cosmetic industry. When the price of Moringa oil comes down with increased production, it will be used more often in preparing dishes to provide the excellent omega-9 fats, just like olive oil.
From water filtration to biofuel and biogas production, Moringa promises many interesting industrial applications. Substantial scientific research has already been done in this area and we are looking forward to seeing this sustainable resource serve even more of our needs.
The financial lens
This tremendous value of Moringa is recognized by traditional cultures, science and international markets, alike. Today, the Global Moringa Market is estimated at more than US $4.5 billion and expected to grow over 10% annually until at least 2024. India is currently leading with an 80% share in both production and market distribution.
The Moringa expansion is driven by the growing health food, supplement and cosmetic industries. Moringa awareness has been growing very fast in the last few years and products are now available in most health food websites and health stores worldwide.
The global dietary supplements market size was valued at US $133.1 billion in 2016 and is projected to accelerate at a CAGR of 9.6% from 2016 to 2024. The drivers of this industry include:
New awareness around health;
Use of dietary supplements and nutraceuticals to prevent diseases and to promote wellbeing.
Support the immune system.
Sports nutrition and high energy supplements with caffeine alternatives;
Developing tea market.
Two specific segments of the population are particularly active in this market: the aging population of baby-boomers and youthful millennials who are very open to try new health products.
The interest for natural organic ingredients has extended to the cosmetic industry.
The global cosmetic industry is close to US $200 billion market with skin care accounting for more than one third of the share. The Specialty Oils Market- of which Moringa is a part- is estimated at US $14.78 billion in 2017, and projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.4% from 2017 to 2022. Growth of Moringa in these markets is driven by growing demand for cosmetic products without (or low in) preservatives and a strong interest in active and functional ingredients from the growing natural cosmetics market.
As an example, Moringa oil is already a part of ingredients used by a few L’Oréal brands and Estée Lauder.
Investors: they are already banking on Moringa!
Many investors have already recognized the tri-fold ROI (financial, environmental, social) of Moringa and developed innovative financing tools to support the growth of investments in Africa.
In 2014, the African Development Bank (AfDB) invested € 10 million in the Moringa Fund. The investment strategy in Moringa is in line with the AfDB's ten-year strategy (2013-2022), which focuses on green growth as a driver of sustainable development and the creation of general prosperity. This is in addition to the Action Plan on Climate Change, which intends to invest to reduce the continent's vulnerability to global warming.
The Moringa Fund is a sustainable agro-forestry investment fund. The Moringa Fund invests in large scale profitable agroforestry projects with high environmental and social impacts. The Moringa Fund invests via equity and quasi-equity from € 4 to 10 million a year, with a final investment objective of 100 million euros.
In 2017, Kellogg’s Venture capital invested US $4.25 million in a startup specializing in Moringa meatless protein products: Kulikuli Kulikuli
Moringa can benefit from the European initiative, Everything But Arms (EBA). EBA grants full duty free and quota free access to the EU Single Market for all products (except arms and armaments) to countries granted EBA status and listed as a Least Developed Country (LDC) by the UN Committee for Development Policy.