Ethnobotanical use and commercial potential of Moringa oleifera in Indonesia: an underused and under-recognized species
Moringa oleifera, native to the Asian subcontinent and Arabia, is cultivated across Southeast Asia, where it is often considered an indigenous species. It is a widely known and familiar component of the agricultural landscapes of Indonesia. Commonly called kelor, farmers from Sumatra to Java, Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara cultivate the species most often in home gardens or near the home with little to no management or inputs. Although given limited management attention, the species' leaves and pods are valued as a nutritious constituent of family diets and as a protein-rich animal fodder. Kelor is often planted as living fences and has many medicinal and cultural uses. Its application for water purification is also recognized. Although valued and extensively utilized, kelor is not prioritized by farmers or agricultural and agroforestry professionals in Indonesia. Compared to neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, the traditional on-farm management of moringa is not well developed; germplasm of improved cultivars is not widely distributed; and value chains for its many products are not established beyond the local level. This paper uses recent surveys of smallholder farmers and traders to document current uses and analyze the raising commercial potential of moringa in Indonesia. While moringa will never be a dominant component of farming systems, there is potential to improve its management and commercial value for the benefit of farm families.
Roshetko, J.M., Purnomosidhi, P., Sabastian, G., Dahlia, L., Mahrizal, M., Mulyoutami, E., Perdana, A., Megawati, M., Riyandoko, R., Maulana, H.T., Anggrayani, S. and Martini, E. (2017). Ethnobotanical use and commercial potential of Moringa oleifera in Indonesia: an underused and under-recognized species. Acta Hortic. 1158, 349-356
kelor, traditional management, markets, commercialization, value chains, gender