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Mixing hemp, Moringa in artisan food

Arne Verhoef of Stokvel CollectiveArné Verhoef, Stokvel Collective, with a Moringa plant.
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Stokvel Collective of South Africa, and Nakło Foundation, Poland, are combining to develop two new artisanal food products based on hemp and Moringa, a nutrient-rich plant native only to parts of Africa and Asia.

The project is under a cooperation agreement signed last year between Stokvel and the Poland-based foundation, which are working to jointly develop small-scale, localized farm-to-market processes and value chains based on organically farmed produce.

Tea, food supplement

Leaves from the Moringa plant will be combined with organically grown hemp to produce dried matter for tea, and powder as a food supplement, said Stokvel’s Arné Verhoef.

The Moringa will be collected and processed by Stokvel, which distributed 15,000 seeds to local farmers around Pretoria, where the Collective is located. Nakło Foundation, based in the municipality of Lelow in south central Poland, will combine the Moringa with hemp leaves, package, and begin to test market the finished product under its Palace Brand hemp label.

“Moringa has a super high nutritional quotient,” Verhoef said. “Combining it with hemp results in a 100% super food.”

The plant, which grows abundantly in South Africa, contains 25% protein; 31% fiber; is a rich source of iron, calcium and magnesium along with vitamins A, K and E; and is high in antioxidants, Verhoef noted.

Stokvel expanding

The food development project is part of Stokvel Collective’s plan to expand its food line for 2017. It also plans to enter the natural skin and hair oils market this year.

Stokvel and Nakło Foundation are working together to identify strategies to rejuvenate stagnant rural economies based on sustainable agricultural models which can be applied to the situations in both Poland and South Africa — with hemp as a central focus.

Nakło Foundation (publisher of HempToday), is active in local economic development through “To Grow A Village,” an initiative based in Silesia, south-central Poland which aims to revive local hemp growing as a means to saving small family farms.


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