Jeri and I just finished our week of Tropical Agriculture Development training at ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) in Ft. Meyers, Florida. It was absolutely fascinating and we found a number of plants that will compliment moringa in providing sustainable food crops for developing-world farmers. The training was a great combination of classroom and hands-on practical learning. It emphasized the struggles of small-scale tropical farmers and offered some very good solutions using appropriate technologies, plant varieties and farming methods.
Our classmates came from Canada, the U.S. and the Dominican Republic, with their fields of work being Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Nicaragua, which gave us all a wide range of perspectives and experiences to share. Many were not only familiar with moringa, but also have been working with it to some extent.
The ECHO missionary-in-residence, Tim Tanner, has been working on developing an oil press for moringa seeds that can be built, repaired and used by a village farmer to press oil for his family and as a small business. Tim has a working model, but is always looking for ways to improve it. We had a lively brainstorming session with him and are looking forward to his next prototype. This is very exciting for us as we have been looking for a press like this for years!