Knowledge for better food systems

Moringa leaf as a dietary supplement

Angie Clonan Dilley's picture


I am currently undertaking some voluntary research for a girls school and orphanage in Uganda (St. Michael's Primary School Busembatia Uganda), and I've been asked to evaluate the potential of Moringa leaf to supplement the girls daily dietary intake, which currently consists of either posho (maize) and beans or simply maize porridge. They have been adding very small amounts as it is grown easily and cheaply locally, and the trustees have the opportunity to increase this for little cost by working with a local farmer.

This is not my field of expertise, and I am obviously concerned about the overall macronutrient disparity in their current daily intake, as it is lacking in protein but more starkly in dietary fats.

So, my questions, for anyone with any knowledge of Moringa or broader knowledge/links on sustainable nutrition for this part of Africa are as follows:

1) Are there any studies demonstrating optimum (or indeed useful) levels of Moringa intake, or conversely demonstrating concerns around intake, for example established toxicity? 

2) Is there any information available on easily accessible and cheap sources of dietary fat that could be accessed and might be acceptable to this population in Uganda?

3) Are there any further links that could be made with the school for research or help to improve the overall dietary intake of these girls?

I realise I'm asking quite a lot, however I do want to be able to provide a report which is as accurate as possible, and I'm particularly conscious of not endorsing a single foodstuff in isolation when the diet is currently so lacking in other areas, so any guidance or signposting would be gratefully received.

Many thanks in advance, Angie