Development potential for Moringa products October 29th - November 2nd, 2001, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
REPORT OF THE PAJAROYA FIELD TOURS
(30th of October 2001)
On Tuesday 30th of October, about 30 participants from the workshop were welcomed at PAJAROYA
Estate, Optima of Africa's Moringa Demonstration Farm settled near Korogwe, in Tanga Region –
The farm was first settled in 1999 with an present surface of 165 ha under Moringa oleifera
cultivation, mainly in pure stand. Located at 400 m above sea level, with an average rainfall of 675
mm per year and an average temperature of 24.8°C, its red clayey sandy loam soils have been
considered an ideal area for growing the tree has a principle crop.
The aim of the Estate considers both demonstration and field research purposes, the farm currently
welcoming and training farmers interested in the tree as a cash crop, showing them different
management practices from land preparation to pruning methodology. Our group was shown per
example the importance of hole digging and land preparation on the growth of the tree.
The fields visited were mainly planted two years and a half ago under direct sowing. Bearing many
flowers and pods they were almost ready for their third harvest season.
The main field research held at Pajaroya concerns the different planting densities and patterns for
the cultivation of Moringa oleifera trees dedicated to dry seeds production under Tanzanian semi-
arid conditions. For instance, the first plots that were planted in a squared pattern of 3m x 3m
(1,110 trees/ha) proved to be too bushy to allow a proper harvest and maintenance of the trees,
so that a row over three had finally to be uprooted after one year.
The pattern actually retained consists in 2.5 m wide double rows planted every 6 m with one tree
planted inside the row 2.5 m from the other. Such practice allows a population density of 962 trees
per ha and makes the field maintenance and harvest operations much easier while a seasonal
intercrop is possible.
Different trials using the space between two rows of Moringa for a companion crop have been held.
Maize, green grams, cowpea and sunflower have shown some good results although research
should continue on.
W. Creighton, Optima General Manager for Tanzania, also stressed the importance of the pruning
methodology on the settlement and production of Moringa trees. A first method consisted in a first
pruning at 1 m high after 6 weeks, followed by 4 other pruning cutting the branches 50 cm from
their base every 3 weeks till the age of four months. A new method under investigation considers
the use of pegs to draw the lower branches as horizontal as possible, creating a low and resistant
support to new producing branches that would make the pods harvest much easier.
The visit ended with a question-to-answer meeting with the participants considering pest attacks
and diseases incidence, use of organic manure, labour costs, etc.