In pursuit of the government’s thrust to support innovative, rural and agro-industrial development, the Board of Investments (BOI) approved the application for registration of MAUSWAG AGRIBUSINESS INC. as a new export producer of Powdered Moringa (commonly known as Malunggay). The PhP36.4 million project qualifies for incentives under the Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) which covers production/manufacture of non-traditional export products with an export requirement of at least 50% (if Filipino-owned) and at least 70% (if foreign-owned).

Commercial operation in the firm’s facility in Curry, Pili, Camarines Sur have already started in April 2017 with 56 personnel in its initial year. The firm, which has a registered annual production capacity of 49,500 kilos, expects its personnel to expand to 98 workers by the fifth year of operation.

The integrated facility involves the planting of Moringa Oleifera and processing it into power form. The Moringa powder will then be sold to domestic markets such as pharmaceutical companies, natural health products manufacturers, bakeries, and supermarkets as well as to be exported to countries such as Japan, South Korea, United States and Europe.

“Malunggay and its related products have great potential to be in demand locally and abroad considering it has attracted the attention of doctors and scientists around the globe due to its high nutritional traits. It is also one of the driving forces in the growing herbal market,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.

The firm claims they are the first company to produce Moringa powder on a commercial level that can supply both demands from the local and international markets. Addtionally, they will be using a Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) technology that can process 1,500 kilograms of raw leaves every 48 hours. The technical details and processing procedure is the enterprise’s proprietary assets. And they plan to patent it to safeguard their interests and efforts in developing the procedure.

Malunggay is usually present in the backyard of Filipino homes. All of its parts such as leaves, pods, bark, seeds, fruits and roots, are packed with nutritional and healing properties, thus the nickname “The Miracle Tree”. Moringa trees generally grow well without adding very much fertilizer. Manure or compost can be mixed with the soil used to fill the planting pits. Phosphorus can be added to encourage root development and nitrogen will encourage leaf canopy growth. Leaves can be harvested after plants grow up to 2 meters, usually after a year.

Global Moringa market is estimated at US$4 billion, according to the India-based Advanced Biofeul Center which conducts the annual global Moringa Meet in India to help Moringa farmers around the world to understand the crop and add value to their businesses. India currently supplies 80% of the world’s demand for moringa products.