Image: Wardi Wasil

There is a green wave taking over the world. 

From eating healthily, reducing carbon emissions to living sustainably, there is  a strong consciousness towards the earth’s preservation especially in this day and age where climate change poses an imminent threat.

Whether you agree or not, green truly is the new black, at least for this generation.

For Lim Jun Hong, the founder of MoriFarm, the rise in awareness on sustainability and the environment presented an oppotune moment to market his product – the nutrition dense Moringa powder.

Image: Wardi Wasil

Made by grinding dried Moringa leaves or locally known as “Merunggai”, the green powder is a nutritional powerhouse which has been likened to other superfoods like Matcha and Spirulina, and its gaining ground as a food supplement due to its many health benefits.

According to Lim, the Moringa is chock full of vitamins with six times more calcium than milk, nine times more fibre than broccoli, three times more iron than spinach and six times more potassium than bananas.

“In the Philippines the leaves are used in soups for breastfeeding mothers because it helps increase lactation.” “It is called the Miracle Tree; from the leaves down to the root, every part of the tree is beneficial and can be used to improve one’s health.” 

Debuting on the shelves of local supermarkets nationwide since March this year, MoriFarm managed to move around 600 units of their Moringa powder, a modest showing Lim believed, considering the local market’s unfamiliarity with the product.

“We have to push the demand and supply, create the market and we do have to teach people what Moringa is to create that profile for people to understand, so people would want to try.

“We do see that people are more aware of the Moringa (and its health benefits) recently, but because it is a new product (Moringaå powder), we have to seek ways to strengthen that awareness in the local market.

In an effort to create a market for his products, since the farm was established in 2017, Lim has been actively approaching potential distributors to feature the Moringa powder that is now available at all Supa Save branches and Farmgate in Jalan Telanai.

Image: Wardi Wasil

This also includes collaborating with local cafes including Ximply Chriz to design dishes that centre around MoriFarm’s Moringa powder such as the Moringa Souffle Pancakes at Piccolo Cafe.

With the rise in interest among local consumers, Lim said that MoriFarm’s next step forward would actually be scaling up post harvest processing to produce more Moringa powder at a capacity that will serve local and international markets.

As the sultanate’s first commercial producer of Moringa powder, the farm’s aim is to develop sustainable and ethically grown products derived from local plants for the export market, with Moringa as its staple product. 

For the 25-year-old entrepreneur, business and profit are just part of a puzzle in a bigger picture, because MoriFarm’s ultimate goal is for local consumers to value the economical and pharmacological potential of the sultanate’s biodiversity.

The cultivation of Moringa according to Lim proved to be beneficial to the environment, positively impacting the yield of its surrounding flora, by “fixing” nitrogen to the soil which is essential for plant growth.

“Here at MoriFarm, we practice permaculture; a system of agriculture that is able to sustain itself, with practices like polyculture which is growing multiple crops in the same field to create a natural ecosystem.”.

With more than ten thousand Moringa trees currently growing in the three-hectare piece of land in Sinaut, Tutong, MoriFarm also features different local herbs and fruit including Dill, Mint, Lemongrass and Pisang Raja.

Products grown at the farm are certified pesticide free, Lim concluded, as he wants to ensure local consumers a piece of safety when consuming locally grown agricultural products, and he wants this feeling to be accessible to everybody.

For aesthetically pleasing views, visit them at @morifarmbn on Instagram.

This article was first published on September  14, 2019 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 56

The Bruneian | BRUNEI-MUARA

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