25 January 2012


Pageant's Artemisia Ambassador

The plant Artemisia annua is native to China and has been used there as a cure for malaria for 2000 years. Its leaves and flowers contain artemisinin, which has proven anti-malarial activity. This was isolated from the plant in China in 1971, is now marketed as an anti-malarial drug, and is widely used in Africa in the fight against malaria. However, its original usage as a 'tea' is a convenient and always-available treatment - provided it is possible to grow your own plants.
The Chinese plant does not grow well in hot climates, so
a significant breakthrough was the development of a new cultivar called 'Anamed', which grows well in tropical conditions, and still retains its anti-malarial properties. Gambia's National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) has developed successful techniques for growing Artemisia in The Gambia, and supplies seedlings for general use.
Pageant has appointed Lamin Njie as our Artemisia Ambassador. Pageant funded his training in Artemisia cultivation at NARI, and he will now tour The Gambia helping village communities to establish their own Artemisia plantations. He will teach them how to germinate the seeds, grow the plants to maturity, harvest leaves and prepare tea from them. He will encourage villagers to collect their own seeds from mature plants, so that
the plantations are self-sustaining and they won't need to obtain fresh supplies of seedlings each season.
Keep up-to-date with news about Pageant's Artemisia Project on this web page.

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