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Farmers’ knowledge, attitude and practices of moringa as nutritional and medicinal food in ‘Mymensingh’ region of Bangladesh

Fakir, M.S.A., Islam, M.R., Sagar, A.ORCID: 0000-0002-1923-6799, Kashem, M.A. and Rahim, M.A. (2017) Farmers’ knowledge, attitude and practices of moringa as nutritional and medicinal food in ‘Mymensingh’ region of Bangladesh. Acta Horticulturae, 1158 . pp. 365-372.

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All plant parts, especially leaves and pods of the moringa (Moringa spp.) tree are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals of nutritional and medicinal value. Moringa is usually grown in the homestead, along road-sides, and on fallow land in Bangladesh. Tender pods of moringa are predominantly used as vegetables although utilisation of other plant parts has sparsely been reported in Bangladesh. However, no systematic study has so far been made on farmers' knowledge, attitude and practices of moringa as nutritional and medicinal food in Bangladesh. Hence, a survey was conducted on this aspect in two villages of 'Boira' union of 'Mymensingh' district of Bangladesh from August 1 to September 15, 2015. Data were collected from 59 farmers out of 209 (28% of farming population) growing moringa, through personal interview schedules. Results revealed, on average, an age of 36.7 years, an education level of grade 6, a family size of 5.5, a farm size of 0.37 ha, an annual income of 1662.5 US$, social mobility score of 6.6, knowledge on propagation practices of 11.8, knowledge on nutrition and utilisation score of 6.9 (max. score 27), attitude score of 27 (max. score 48) and uses score of moringa of 10.8 (max. score 50). The results indicate that there is potential of growing an increased number of trees and improving knowledge on nutrition and uses in the locality. Further, farmers were asked about use of pods and leaves (5-0 scale: 5-very high and 0-no use). Farmers were categorized as low, medium and high users (<3, 3-4 and >4, respectively). Highest number of farmers (71.2%) with >4 score used tender pods as vegetables, while for leaves low, medium and high users shared a percentage of 30.5, 30.5 and 39.0%, respectively. This signifies that there is potential of improving the knowledge of uses of moringa plant parts. Further, respondents had inadequate knowledge on balanced protein, availability of abundant minerals and vitamins, and medicinal properties of moringa leaves. Hence, the findings allow the conclusion that there are ample opportunities to increase knowledge on nutrition as well as uses of moringa leaves in Mymensingh region of Bangladesh.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS)
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