HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 576: 10 August 2011

The Moringa could be Mauke’s miracle
Hugh Graham is not rushing things in his quest to establish an industry on Mauke based around the Moringa Tree.
Hugh told the Herald on Monday morning that establishing a Moringa industry will be a carefully managed and staged process. He has set up a company called “Hugh Graham Enterprises Ltd” and his brand is “Uniquely Hughes.”
According to Hugh, if the whole process is managed properly there is no reason why a profitable enterprise earning export dollars, cannot be established. He wants to avoid getting into a “boom and bust” situation.
So far stage one has been completed. Research has been carried out along with trials. The market has been tested for use of fresh and dry leaves.
Hugh has been selling Moringa locally in small quantities. Moringa was sold from his stall at the recent Trade days as an add on to other foods like chicken.
Stage 2 will see more trees planted on Mauke with the emphasis on organic planting. The plan is to plant a further 3,000 trees on about 3 acres. These will be ready to harvest in early December. Hugh is also in the process of setting up a Co-op on Mauke with 6 other growers who are interested in taking part.
In the next stage, stage 2, he plans to increase sales on Rarotonga. He has been exploring potential markets overseas and has already had positive responses from New Zealand. He is negotiating with the Ministry of Agriculture on Bio-Security issues.
More publicity is planned on the benefits of Moringa especially on health.
Hugh told the Herald the Moringa leaves can be harvested after three months. Fresh leaves can be cooked in with other foods in the same manner as rukau or the leaves can be dried and added to foods or drinks.
The Moringa Tree originates from the foothills of the Himalayas. It is widely grown in Africa and other tropical areas and is commonly referred to as the “miracle tree.” This is because research has shown that practically every part of it is beneficial to either animals or humans in some way. Its leaves are very high in nutrients like vitamins. The roots, bark, seed pods, leaf stems and flowers are all beneficial to health.
According to Hugh, some Moringa trees are already growing on Rarotonga but he does not know how they came to be here.

-Charles Pitt

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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