The joy of annual fruit production is more than fabulous, it provides hope and healing. Someone cared enough to plant the tree or allowed space for it to grow. It can continue to provide abundantly for the next season and generation. In some places, the indigenous fruit trees produce bountiful crops in drought years.
The right plants, in the right places, grown the right way makes good ecological sense and can “Help the hungry feed themselves!”
(Mr Bruce French, FPI)
The work of Food Plants International is vital because:
“Malnutrition is a complex issue, but it is the main cause of death and disease in the world,” according to Dr Francesco Branca, Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2019)
It is wonderful to have multiple agencies, community groups, non-government organisations and households focusing on improved nutrition for mothers, infants and children. Food Plants International can help resource, empower and promote nutritious local food plants as a key part of this strategy.
According to the World Heath Organisation: “The impacts of malnutrition on development, society, health and well-being are serious and lasting, for individuals and their families, for communities and for countries.” Finding creative solutions to address these problems is vital. We can all play our part.
“Biologically diverse diets are more likely to be nutritionally replete, and also contain intrinsic protective factors. There are an increasing number of initiatives promoting dietary diversity for improved child nutrition and protection against chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer.”
K. Gold, RPH McBurney, M. Ouma. Conservation of plant biodiversity for
sustainable diets, FAO 2012
“Worldwide,home gardens are a community’s most adaptable andaccessible land resource and are an important component inreducing vulnerability and ensuring food security. One way to reduce vulnerability or avoid risk is thediversification of accessible resources, such as useful plants. Diversification not only serves as insurance against unexpected or disruptive events, but also provides many componentsthat facilitate adaptive renewal following a disturbance.”
Buchmann, C., 2009, Cuban Home Gardens and Their Role in Social-Ecological Resilience. Human Ecology 37:705-721
When the economy of a country is dysfunctional, how can people feed themselves? Do people know what food is edible? When everything is sailing along, this information seems irrelevant. When things are tough, it is essential.
It is important knowledge for us all – especially our children and grandchildren.
In Mbwerenga (low rainfall area of Zimbabwe), there is enough nutritious food to last three seasons. Courage + Conservation agriculture + small grains + hard work has seen a harvest worth celebrating.
What food plants grow well in your area? Let’s keep learning and celebrating.