One of the solutions to malnutrition in the world’s population is as simple as growing the right food plants in the right places. Enabling people to achieve this is the goal of the Learn◊Grow project.
The Learn◊Grow project is based on the life’s work of Tasmanian agricultural scientist, Bruce French, who has comprehensively documented information on the food plants of the world. The food plants database developed by Bruce contains over 24,000 food plants. It includes descriptions of the origin of food plants, growing methods, photos, drawings of the plant and edible parts of the plants, and cooking methods.
In June 2007, Rotary and Food Plants International established the Learn◊Grow project to provide information to people in developing countries to grow the most nutritious and viable food plants in their environment.
Many of these food plants from the local environment are nutritionally far superior to exotic food plants and generally give a more stable food supply, due to better adaptation to local weather conditions and greater resistance to local pests and diseases
The food plants database that Bruce French has developed, and which underpins the Learn◊Grow Project, is an outstanding achievement of global significance.
Getting the relevant information contained in the food plants database to those who need it is a steep challenge. Rotary, with its global networks and its strong humanitarian concerns, is well positioned to tackle this challenge.
The aim of the Learn◊Grow project is to develop strategies to deliver the information in the food plants database to countries most in need. The Learn◊Grow project committee has identified three countries in which to conduct pilot projects – the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.