EVALUATION OF <em>MORINGA</em> <em>OLEIFERA</em> FOR FOOD SECURITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL REHABILITATION IN TANZANIAN RURAL AREAS
Evaluation of Moringa oleifera for its potential in food security and environmental rehabilitation has been carried out in Morogoro, Tanzania. For this purpose, three-month-old potted nursery seedlings were transplanted in the field at a spacing of 3 × 3 m where they were left to the prevailing weather conditions. Seven months after field planting, plant total height, branching pattern and root architecture were assessed. The number of pods was also counted. Linear regression analysis was computed to relate pod yield with key growth parameters, namely, total height and stem branching rate. Within a period shorter than a year, the average tree height has reached 4.13 m (SD = 0.86). Moringa oleifera yielded enormous amount of edible green beans within the first year. These green beans were borne throughout the long dry season when other sources of vegetables died or became unaffordable for the common people. Owing to its modified roots and probably to other mechanism, this species is drought-resistant. There was a positive correlation between the number of pods and the total number of branches (p < 0.001). The relationship between height growth and amount of pods or number of branches was very weak (p > 0.10). Any kind of shoot treatment able to stimulate the branching rate will most likely increase pod yield. Penilaian Moringa oleifera sebagai jaminan makanan dan pemulihan alam sekitar dijalankan di Morogoro, Tanzania.