By Hana Namrouqa – Mar 17,2016

AMMAN — Jordan will start growing moringa trees in desert and sub-desert areas this year to benefit from their medical and food uses, according to an official at the Agriculture Ministry.

Under a memorandum of understanding between the ministry and the Saudi cooperative society for moringa and desert plants, the latter will provide the ministry with seeds and saplings of moringa, also known as drumstick or horseradish tree.

“A technical team from the ministry’s Forestry Department will benefit from Saudi Arabia’s experience in growing moringa and expanding its cultivation across the country,” the ministry’s spokesperson, Nimer Haddadin, told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

“Initially, the ministry is planning to cultivate the tree in southern areas, as moringa is a drought-tolerant tree,” he said.

Haddadin said planting moringa in the Kingdom is feasible, as the tree grows fast and does not need much water, while its leaves can be digested by livestock and its oil has several health and food uses.

The moringa tree is native to India and cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas all over Asia, Africa and South America, according to webs sources.

It has several vitamins, such as A, B, C, D and E, and minerals including potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, and magnesium. Its leaves are rich in essential amino acids.

Various humanitarian organisations have promoted the use of this tree to combat malnutrition, according to web sources.
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