Moringa Connection Between India & Cuba!

Medical science in Cuba, an island country in the Caribbean region, has been historically great and have been studied as case studies by various governments around the world, to emulate their medical systems in their respective countries as part of their science diplomacy. Cuba has MoUs with several governments to send their doctors to their countries where there is a lack of quality of doctors, especially what the world has witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking of alternative medicines, the sector is very good in Cuba and people of Cuba like to treat their diseases with natural herbs and cure – people say it as ‘green medicine’. One such great herb which is making noise around the world, due to its much health benefits and preventing and curing disease, is ‘Moringa’ – miracle of the moment.

The Moringa Oleifera, one of the greatest plant species in Cuba & India, now has each person going loopy. According to articles published on the internet, a Moringa leaf has more than 25% protein, which is as much as in eggs and twice the amount of milk!  Originally, the moringa tree comes from southern & northern parts of India, where people have been eating moringa fruits, drumsticks, moringa leaves, roots, moringa seeds since thousands of years. Since the last decade or so, moringa cultivation has been in existence in Cuba, and Cubans love to have it in their diets and so does Indians. Love for moringa has been equally shared by Cubans and Indians due to its great health benefits and great medicinal values it holds.

Moringa grows in typically tropical to subtropical climate having temperatures from 22 to 40 degree Celsius. ‘The average year-round temperature is approximately 26°C and there’s plenty of sunshine in Cuba’. Moringa tree also does not require as much water as required in the cultivation of rice or other crops. Agriculture in Cuba played a significant role in the economy of Cuba contributing 10% of the GDP (USD 25.4 billion in agriculture as of 2015 statistics). 30% of the land is being used for Agricultural purposes and employees nearly 20% of the population in Cuba.

Moringa in India & the revolutionary leader of Cuba- Fidel Castro

It was Che Guevara, a major figure of the Cuban revolution, who first introduced drumsticks to Cuba in the 1960s, but its cultivation remained limited, as described by a news website. One of the former Chef of Fidel Castrol told a major newspaper of England that Fidel Castro, an architect of the Cuban revolution, since 2008 having taken retirement had been enjoying gardening and cultivating moringa around his residence. He sent one of his friends to India to bring quality moringa seeds to quietly pet his hobbies like moringa cultivation.

When an earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, it led to large scale destruction and caused suffering to the common people. Among the several problems they had to battle were cholera and hunger. Moved by the plight of Haitians, Fidel Castro urged ‘Dr. Concepcion Campa Huergo’, founder of the Finlay Institute in Cuba, great researcher having done noteworthy work in Vaccines, to do the work in the field of moringa. Castro was then told that “the answer to Haiti’s problem of pervasive hunger was moringa“. After reading up on moringa, Castro told Huergo, “This is food for the hungry.” Castro then sent Huergo to India, and then she travelled to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala to study the cultivation of moringa and get seeds to Cuba for cultivation.

As mentioned by a blog of moringa, Fidel Castro said “Moringa, originally from India, is the only plant that has every kind of amino acid. With proper planting and management, its green-leaf production can exceed 300 tons per hectare in a year. It has dozens of medicinal properties”.

Potential in Moringa Trade & Scientific Research Between India & Cuba

Moringa is one great product extension of India’s several herbal products, promoted by Ministry of Ayush, Government of India for treating and prevention of diseases. On the industrial side, moringa is being used in varieties of industries from pharmaceuticals as capsules from moringa powder or moringa powder in its raw form, to cosmetics as moringa oil from its seeds, used in creams, lotions, gels which is beneficial for skin, to food industry adding moringa leaves, moringa leaf powder to different food categories as many food companies are doing. Since moringa from seed to tree to various derived products are being used worldwide, the government of Cuba may think upon of cultivating moringa for it much beneficial of its value chain and perhaps exports of moringa products.

India being a native country to moringa is a strategically fit to supply moringa to Cuba thereby developing trade between India and Cuba. India and Cuba have already established tremendous science diplomacy between the two countries; India and Cuba may also look into the further research of moringa from healthcare and agriculture perspective. Moringa is known for treating, preventing and curing diseases. Therefore, scientific research on moringa between two friendly nations can make avenues on the treatment of diseases involving cardiovascular, type-2 diabetes and in fact, COVID-19 can be fruitful and worthy. Therefore, the scope of work towards food and nutrition security is immense, between the great countries. Also, it is interesting to note that the 61st anniversary of relationships between India and Cuba has recently been passed in January.

Terry Exports LLP (TEL) is an Indian based premium moringa leaves, powder, seeds tea & oil exports-oriented firm, which promotes, market and distributes moringa oleifera products of the highest & premium quality to pharmaceutical/nutraceuticals, cosmetic, personal care, wellness, food, beverage, and spa industries across the globe. Terry Exports LLP in its primary stage also attempting to work with World Food Programme, the body of United Nations to support their hunger programmes to feed moringa to the people to raise the nutrition and eradicate hunger.

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