Technology

SUA medicinal plants to boost villagers’ income


DAR ES SALAAM: SOKOINE University of Agriculture (SUA) has come up with a value-added initiative for medicinal plants that will boost the income of the villagers.

The project that uses the milk bush plant known as ‘Mti maziwa’ has been found with capacity to treat and cure various skin diseases.

The Head of Department of Veterinary Medicine and Public Health Prof Robinson Mdegela at SUA said they embarked on this research because they wanted to know its safety to consumers.

“We started researching medicines derived from natural trees and how they can treat them including their limitations so that we can see where to improve so that we can commercialise them by value addition,” he said.

He added that in Tanzania, bush tree treatment started a long time ago but due to the concept of tradition, they have been despised while food, spices, medicine and herbs are derived from medicinal trees.

“Farmers get little income from this business so we have decided to add value to enable farmers to increase their income,” he said.

Prof Mdegela revealed this during the visit of the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) team and journalists at the university recently.

He said the medicine is called Synodal. He said the government through COSTECH has provided approximately 100m/- for undertaking the research project on the medicinal tree.

He said the product has a market within and outside Tanzania and it seems to help many people who suffer from skin disease.

“Herbal medicines are natural compounds from plants leaves, bark, roots, seeds, or flowers that people can use for medicinal purposes,” said Prof Mdegela.

Prof Mdegela called on the community to value natural products as long as they focus on quality.

“Scientists should unite to develop medicine and make our science and its products able to improve and commercialise,” he said.

He said they researched more than 300 trees where they discovered that it can treat fungus, non-communicable diseases, as well as chicken diseases and viruses.

On her part, the SUA Laboratory Scientist, Aneth Coster said that they finalised some procedures to the Authority so it will soon enter the market.

“A few procedures for the Synodal to enter the market so people can get relief especially those suffering from skin diseases.



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