CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it is currently strengthening its malunggay production through a comprehensive malunggay foliage and seed production technology.

Moringa Oleifera, popularly known as malunggay, is widely cultivated in the grounds of Department of Agriculture Central Luzon Integrated Agricultural Research Center for Lowland Development (DA-CLIARCLD) so as to fully harness its many potential uses and further extract its nutritive content.

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The high mineral content of malunggay is the primary basis for it to be preferred as a nutrition supplement for good health. In fact, a number of local drug manufacturers have already ventured in the production of malunggay capsules.

The DA-CLIARCLD has also initiated efforts to produce seed and oil from malunggay fruits and tea and capsules from malunggay leaves. It is currently taking on an intense commercialization drive of malunggay seedlings. This is undertaken thru the following procedure; the malunggay pods are collected and the seeds are sorted out.

After which, the seeds are soaked in clean water for 12 hours, drained and incubated for four to seven days until they germinate. The pre-germinated seeds are then planted in individual pots.

On the other hand, the malunggay powder processing technology of the DA-CLIARCLD is done by first harvesting the young green leaves starting from the apical buds. They are then air dried for three to four days in a shade house. After air drying, the leaf petioles are removed and pan-fried for two to three minutes over low fire. The roasted leaves are then crushed until they turn into tiny particles, which are placed in tea bags and capsules.

The DA-CLIARCLD is optimistic that such initiatives on malunggay will make it a more popular farm product in the market. (Ian Ocampo Flora)