Malunggay Feeds, Oils, Fertilizes, Heals, Purifies and Generates Income

Senator Loren Legarda today pushed for the production, processing, marketing, and circulation of malunggay in all ideal locations of the nation to optimize the benefits of the exceptionally healthy and productive but underutilized tropical crop.

"I filed Senate Bill No. 1349 charging the Department of Agriculture, in assessment with the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, farmer's groups, local government systems, and the private sector, to create a five-year Framework for Development concentrating on developing malunggay for food, medicinal, health, and industrial requirements."

Legarda explained, "Malunggay is one of the most helpful tropical trees. The relative ease with which it propagates through both sexual and nonsexual means and its low need for soil nutrients and water after being planted makes its production and management simple. "

"Malunggay's young leaves are edible and are typically prepared and eaten like spinach or used to make soups and salads. They are a remarkably great source of provitamin A, vitamins B, and C, minerals (in particular iron), and the sulphur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine."

"The dry seeds can be ground to a powder and used for seasoning sauces. The roots from young plants can also be dried and ground for use as a hot flavoring base with a taste similar to that of horseradish. The flowers can be eaten after being lightly blanched or raw as a delicious addition to salads."

"For industrial purposes, the oil material of de-hulled seed (kernel) of malunggay is around 42%. The oil is brilliant yellow. It is utilized as a lubricant for great machinery such as timepieces due to the fact that it has little propensity to deteriorate and become rancid and sticky."

"Malunggay is also useful as a veggie cooking oil. It is likewise known for its capability to absorb and retain volatile substances and is for that reason valuable in the perfume industry for stabilizing scents.

"The protein from the drawn out malunggay oil is a natural polypeptide for sedimenting mineral particles and organics in the purification of drinking water, for cleaning up vegetable oil, or for sedimenting fibers in the juice and beer markets.

"Malunggay when pushed can be utilized in the form of a foliar spray to accelerate the growth of young plants to be firmer, with bigger fruit, and more resistant to bugs and illness." Senator Loren pointed out that at Biomasa, a Technical University based in Nicaragua, research studies have been carried out using the seeds from malunggay for the final treatment in wastewater treatment systems.

"To avoid eutrophication of rivers or lakes, the malunggay seeds can be used to coagulate algae and eliminate them by sedimentation. The algae recovered by sedimentation after drying and pulverization have a protein content of about 46 % and can be used as a protein supplement for cows, pigs, chickens and even shrimps therefore minimizing the cost of feeding considerably. Approximately 98 % of the algae can be eliminated by this treatment."

Legarda asserted that in the Philippines, aside from the abovementioned benefits that can be stemmed from cultivating malunggay for agricultural and commercial purposes, research studies have actually been made that boost making use of malunggay for medicinal functions.

"Malunggay leaves are good for headache, bleeding from a shallow cut, bacterial and fungal skin problems, anti-inflammatory gastric ulcers and diarrhea, poor nutrition."

"Malunggay pods are dewormers, good for dealing with liver and spleen issues, pain of the joints, and poor nutrition. Also, malunggay seeds deal with arthritis, rheumatism, gout, cramp, STD, boils and urinary issues, and is a relaxant for epilepsy."

Legarda said malunggay seed producers can accumulate a net income of approximately Php218,000 to Php521,000 per hectare/year at P20/kg of seeds, if the malunggay trees are planted 2x2 or 3x3 meters apart.

"Malunggay leaves manufacturers can anticipate an estimated earnings of P1.43 million per hectare/year at P5/kg of leaves."

"Overall, malunggay growing for business use can produce an estimated 10,000 jobs/3,000 hectares for Filipinos."

"At present, there is a Biotechnology Information and Organization Network (BIONet) for Malunggay in Laguna, Quezon, Negros Oriental, CARAGA, Tarlac, CAR, Region 3 and Ilocos Region."

"We need to activate more malunggay nurseries and repositories all over the nation. Senate Bill 1350 jobs the Department of Agriculture, in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the municipal government concerned, to identify the broad locations appropriate for the planting and propagation of malunggay."

"Continuous efforts linking growers with markets through contract to buy plans need to be pursued."

"Along the very same spirit, I laud the use of malunggay for government's feeding and nutrition programs."

"Malunggay can be the solution to a lot of our country's issues. Malunggay feeds, oils, fertilizes, heals, cleanses and can create earnings. Let's take malunggay seriously, "Legarda concluded.