Olabyi Aures Oba Chabi: Benin and the Moringa Tree

Olabyi Aures Oba Chabi says he is lucky to be living in the United States, where he works as an accountant in Atlanta and has a car shipping and transport business that is based in Indianapolis.

Olabyi Aures Oba Chabi was born and raised in Benin, a small country in West Africa. He was also educated there, earning a Bachelor's degree in Audit and Corporate Finance.

Olabyi Aures Oba Chabi loves his life in the United States, but he also loves his native country. He is a member and treasurer of the Benin Diaspora USA, and also a member of the Beninese Association of Indiana. The Beninese Association of Indiana is the voice of the Beninese community in the Hoosier State. The Association also strives to develop good relations between Americans and the Beninese people.

But as Olabyi Aures Oba Chabi knows, Benin, like much of West Africa, faces high rates of infant mortality due to malnutrition. There is plenty of food in Benin, he says, but the problem is that families often rely on corn and millet grains for food, and these grains don't have enough protein and vitamins for children. Olabyi Aures Oba Chabi is encouraged to know that the Beninese government, in partnership with international non-government organizations (NGOs) like the Peace Corps, have launched the Moringa Association of Benin to promote a fast growing tree called Moringa Oleifera. The Moringa, which has been called "the miracle tree" by Natural News, has hundreds of uses, including the potential to alleviate malnutrition.

The Moringa tree, says Olabyi Aures Oba Chabi, is being taken very seriously. At a meeting of farmers, health officials, NGOs and academics, the benefits of the tree and the feasibility of a moringa association to promote it were explored. The immature pods of the tree are the most highly valued because they contain all the essential amino acids, along with many vitamins and other nutrients. It can be eaten raw, or prepared like green peas or green beans. The mature pods, meantime, can be fried. The tree's leaves can be eaten as greens, the bark can be used for tanning and a coarse fiber, and the flowers, which need to be cooked, can be eaten either mixed with other foods or fried in a batter. They have been shown to be rich in potassium and calcium.

All of this gives Olabyi Aures Oba Chabi hope for his native land. The Moringa Association of Benin, he says, can lead to the widespread distribution of moringa for nutrition programs.

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