Non-oil sector critical to Vision 2020
Moringa Oleifera is a fast-growing and drought-resistant small tree native to northern India. The evergreen, leafy and luxuriant all-year-round tree grows well in any part of Nigeria even without watering. When harvested and cut off, it automatically brings out a set of new and healthy leaves and other aerial parts. All the parts of the tree can be used in a variety of ways, including water treatment and other medicinal use.
Ogundeji charged the gathering to exploit the economic potential of the Moringa Oleifera tree.
He said: “We have over-flogged the fact that our dependence on oil and gas to the neglect of agriculture has left us in a bad state. It is time we stop regretting about the past and move forward to correct the wrongs. The basis of any meaningful development is research. This is why I am particularly happy about the effort of the council to promote research into this plant and sensitise development of investment in our local resources”.
He described Kwara as a state blessed with abundant mineral and agricultural resources, noting that continuous proper harnessing of these would put the state in better economic stead.
Ogundeji said the state has set the pace for others in the areas of commercial agriculture and power plant and appealed to the private sector to utilise the advantage of constant electricity supply in the state to assist in the development of its economy.
Director/Chief Executive, RMRDC, Peter Azikiwe Onwalu, said Moringa Oleifera could be used as fertiliser, natural pesticide, for fencing purposes, among others.
He added: “There is no doubt that the plant has the potential to address issues relating to income generation, job creation, improved health through the supply of potable and wholesome water. It will equally enhance food security through its cultivation, processing and utilisation”.
President, KWACCIMA, Hezekiah Adedeji, said: “There is much evidence around the world from various traditions and cultures that have used this miracle tree for so many ailments and troubles.
“The leaves are believed to have a stabilising effect on blood pressure and control glucose levels. They are also used to treat anxiety, diarrhoea and inflammation of the colon, skin infections, scurvy, intestinal parasites, among other conditions”.