The international market for moringa or malunggay products from the Philippines is growing, according to Moringa Philippines Foundation, Inc. (MPFI) founding chair Bernadette Arellano.
In an interview with GMA News Online on the sidelines of a press conference in Clark on Oct. 19, Arellano said the demand for moringa products in Japan and in the US is increasing, although she has no definite figures yet.
Moringa products. Kim LucesMeanwhile, David Makin, owner of the Moringa Propagation Company LTD, said moringa is gaining attention in Israel and Germany.
“Germany is known for admiration (for) herbal medicine. [Also] in Israel, the interest is growing very fast,” Makin told GMA News Online in a separate interview during the press conference in Clark.
Dubbed "miracle tree" and "the next superfood," moringa has been proven to be rich in antioxidants that can prevent lifestyle-related ailments such as cardiovascular diseases, heart problems, high blood pressure, and cancer.
In a follow-up interview through email, Arellano said, "The first [known] exporter of moringa powder is Ms Genara Matsuoka, who had started exporting three tons of powder to Japan."
“She had to buy leaves from different nearby source since her five hectare plantation could not produce the lot. She even had to buy dried leaves from Pampanga and Pangasinan to complete the first order,” Arellano said.
Matsuoka is the president of Japan-Philippines Malunggay Eco Farm Inc. (JPM), a three-year-old company exporting moringa and papaya products to Japan. She is also a board member of the MPFI. — LBG, GMA News