In April of last year, when boxing icon Manny Pacquiao fought American champion Floyd Mayweather, Fil-Am fish farmer Rocky French gave me seeds of the Indian Malunggay to be planted in the Philippines.
Nobody, except perhaps the Visayans who are said to be more protective of their Malunggay trees than their own houses during typhoons, really gave that much importance to the moringa tree.
Rocky French, however, convinced me to go all-out for Malunggay because it has been proven to be a good very feed component, especially for his Tilapia which he raises in his ponds in the desert of Thermal City in Southern California.
He also informed me that Moringa Oil is in demand in the market.
Exactly a year later, I am now starting to harvest the fruits of these very prolific Malunggay variety and now the idea of how profitable these lowly trees could be for farmers living in marginal areas of the country.
Yesterday, I called up Rocky French to inform him that I am now starting to harvest the seeds from the Indian Moringa which I planted exactly a year ago.
He was excited with the prospect of the Philippines becoming a major Moringa leaves and seeds producer.
I intend to make a quick trip to the United States before President Rody Duterte officially assumes the presidency to work out marketing agreements with US companies who would be interested to buy our Malunggay production.
With the seeds that I am harvesting now, I expect to share these with the farmers in North Cotabato and other provinces so that the unused areas in their farms could be planted to Malunggay.
This will start the realisation of that advocacy I started many years ago that every inch of land in the country should be used to produce something that would provide additional income for the Filipino farmers.
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