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Nursery and Field Establishment of Moringa Oleifera: The Federal University Of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria Experience
Moringa oleifera fondly called “The miracle tree” is currently drawing global attention as a multi-utility plant. The products of this miracle plant (also called a life saver) have been reported to be useful to nutritionists, animal scientists, pathologists, entomologists, environmentalists, practitioners of natural medicine, etc. Though the Moringa tree is widespread throughout the tropics, around farms and compounds and often used as fence especially in Northern Nigeria, not much has been done to enhance its large scale production to ensure sustained availability. The Federal University of Technology, Owerri has keyed into the Moringa oleifera initiative through its Centre for Agricultural Research. About 2 hectares of this plant have been successfully established in the University farm sourced from different locations (Ilorin, and Lafiagi in Kwara State and Mokwa in Niger State), all in Nigeria. So far, some nursery practices have been developed for this crop including the avoidance of heavy shades and seed dressing with Apron Star 42 WS® (20% Thiamethoxam + 20% Metalaxyl-M + 2% Difenoconazol). Field trials are currently going on to monitor the performance of the seedlings in the field.