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OVERVIEW

Statistics show that approximately 5 children a minute, under the age of 5, die from malnutrition.  Food Plant Solutions is taking an ‘EVERY CHILD MATTERS’ approach to this fact.  One of the solutions to malnutrition is as simple as growing the right food plants in the right places.

The first 1000 days from conception are critical in a child’s development.  If children do not receive adequate quantities of key micronutrients during this period, they can be irreparably impaired for life.  Malnutrition and other serious health problems, such as blindness, intellectual disabilities, anaemia and impaired growth can be due to nutritional imbalance in the diet.

The Food Plant Solutions project was designed to address malnutrition through the use of readily available and local food sources.  We create educational publications that help people understand the connection between plant selection and nutrition, and empower them to grow a range of highly nutritious plants with differing seasonal requirements and maturities.  We identity  food plants that are potentially important for a country or region because they are suited to the environment, they are high in nutrients and they grow with minimal inputs.  This is a self-sustainable solution that empowers people in need, not just for now, but into the future.

Deliberately Food Plant Solutions does not send people in-country, but forms partnerships with existing aid providers who use the FPS publications to educate communities, and particularly women and children, on the nutrient value of their local foods.  Not only does this sustainably address malnutrition and food security, it also empowers women.  In many cases this will increase incomes, particularly for women, which benefits the family unit as a whole, and it safeguards and strengthens the capacity of women to provide food security, health and nutrition for their family.  Most projects (whether they be housing, water, schools, maternal health, etc.), would be further enhanced by adding a Food Plant Solutions component to them.  Most people who are in dire situations require a sustainable way to grow and access nutritious food.

With program partners, FPS encourages the establishment of demonstration food gardens in schools and communities, as these provide ongoing education and improve the health and nutrition of participants, who are provided with nutritious food prepared from these gardens.

With some of our programs achieving a reduction in malnutrition by as much as 95%, this approach is proven, cost-effective and sustainable.

Contact us at info@foodplantsolutions.org to get involved.


HISTORY OF FPS

Tasmanian agricultural scientist and Officer of the Order of Australia recipient -  Bruce French, has spent over 30 years on a voluntary mission to document information on all the food plants of the world.

Bruce has established a plain English database of over 28,500 edible plants, which continues to grow.  The database contains descriptions, countries and climatic zones of the plants’ origins, photos and drawings, edible parts, and cooking methods.

Nutritional information is available for a selection of these plants.  All information in the database can be reproduced in a number of formats including CD, DVD, books and PowerPoint presentations.

Rotarian Buz Green, of the Rotary Club of Devonport North in Tasmania (D9830) developed a relationship between the organisation behind the food plants database, Food Plants International, and Rotary to establish the Food Plant Solutions project.

Since June 2007, Buz Green and Bruce French, with the support of the Food Plant Solutions committee, Rotary and other volunteers, have transformed Food Plant Solutions from a concept into a dynamic international project that has come to the attention of Rotary and other organisations tackling malnutrition around the world.  Recently the preeminent leader in our field - Bioversity International recognised the significance of our work with a Letter of Support.

Click here to learn about developments with this visionary project.


THE NEED

Approximately 5 children a minute, under the age of 5, die from malnutrition.

Traditional responses have failed to come up with permanent solutions to the problem of hunger, malnutrition and food security.  An alternative approach is needed to address malnutrition around the globe.  Food Plant Solutions is a visionary approach to malnutrition – to grow the best local foods, that are highest in nutrients, to meet the nutritional needs of chronically malnourished people throughout the developing world.

ROTARY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

In 1998, when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative began, polio paralysed approximately 350,000 children per year.  Due to the dedicated efforts of Rotary and its partners there has been a decrease of 99% in polio cases.

In 2015, approximately 2,600,000 children under the age of 5 died from malnutrition linked causes.

Like polio, hunger and malnutrition is preventable.

Like polio, Food Plant Solutions needs extensive partnerships.

Like polio, a long-term commitment is needed.

We are calling on all Rotarians to follow ‘End Polio Now’ with End Malnutrition NOW

Please contact us at info@foodplantsolutions.org to became part of End Malnutrition NOW


THE ADVANTAGES

Food Plant Solutions empowers people in developing countries to understand local food plant resources to feed themselves and their families.  No costly equipment or structural improvements are required to get people switched onto the advantages of growing local food plants including:

  • more certain production
  • better adaptation to local conditions – soil type, rainfall, temperature
  • better resistance to pests and diseases, hence lower costs for pesticides
  • simpler growing requirements, no need for extensive areas cleared for monoculture cultivation
  • potentially better nutritional quality of local food plants

The main obstacle to local people taking advantage of local food plants is a lack of knowledge about their importance and true nutritional value.  Food Plant Solutions is focused on imparting this knowledge to people in developing countries.


Food Plant Solutions operates in accordance with Rotary International Policy but is not an agency of, or controlled by Rotary International. SITE BY NOVA DESIGN AND PRINT

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