Foreign demand for Myanmar’s drumstick tree on the rise

Myanmar will export Moringa oleifera, or drumstick trees, to Japan for the first time from June onwards, said U Myint Ko, chair of Myanmar Drumstick and Moringa Producer and Exporters Association.

Japan, China, Malaysia and Singapore have offered to purchase the drumsticks from Myanmar but Myanmar can produce only limited quantities of the tree, he said.

The pods from the moringa tree resemble drumsticks. “We received offers to purchase the drumsticks. We cannot produce well to meet demand. There are only just over 200 acres of cultivated drumstick trees across the nation,” he said.

Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree, native to tropical and subtropical regions of South Asia.[3] It is widely cultivated for its young seed pods and leaves used as vegetables and for traditional herbal medicine. It is also used for water purification.

According to WebMD, Moringa is used to treat a host of ailments such as anemia, arthritis and other joint pains, asthma; cancer; constipation; diabetes; diarrhea; epilepsy; stomach pain;

stomach and intestinal ulcers; intestinal spasms; headache; heart problems; high blood pressure; kidney stones; fluid retention; thyroid disorders; and bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections.

Moringa is also used to reduce swelling, as an aphrodisiac and to boost the immune system. Some people use it as a nutritional supplement or tonic. It can also be applied directly to the skin to cure skin ailments.

Oil from moringa seeds is used in foods, perfume, and hair care products, and as a machine lubricant.

The foreign countries have offered to purchase drumstick fruits and dried Moringa leaves from Myanmar because they use them as diet supplements. There are good prospects for drumstick trees, U Myint Ko said.

Drumstick trees can be grown in any part of the country and they are most common in tropical regions like Magwe and Sagaing.

The current price in the local market is over K70,000 per kilogram of dried drumstick leaves, and over K30,000 per viss of dried drumstick fruits. These can fetch higher prices if they are exported to other countries, according to U Myint Ko.


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