Drumsticks beat back poverty in arid zones


Superfood moringa is proving to be a boon for subsistence farmers 

Names like PKM 2, Bhagya KDM 1, Rohit 1, Siddhi Vinayaka.... may not ring a bell among urban readers, but those engaged in subsistence farming will recognise these as the high-yielding varieties of Moringa olifera (drumstick tree).

This tree (called murungae in Tamil) has been around for ages, but ever since the world at large claimed moringa as a superfood, thanks to its nutritional qualities, its acreage in the country’s arid and semi-arid zones has been rising as farmers recognise it as a crop that never fails despite climate change.

Three years ago, software engineer Thangaraj Nadar and his brother, an employee at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, planted the moringa’s PKM 1, PKM 2 and ODC varieties on their 20-acre ancestral plot in Karungulam village in Tamil Nadu’s Nagercoil district; they have since been harvesting 20-25 tonnes of drumstick pods per acre every year.................Read more

 

Source: Business Line


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