Potentially Important Trees for all Countries of the World
World President Elect (WPE) Ian Risely has declared “Rotary: Making a Difference” the theme for this Rotary year, 2017/18. WPE Ian Risley has stated his desire for a tree to be planted for each Rotarian around the world, so that we could all make a difference to the world’s climate.
In speaking with World President Elect – Ian, it is important that these trees are not just planted and left to take in Co2, but that they also be useful in areas in the world where malnutrition rates are high.
Following a Letter of Support from Ann Tutwiler, the Director General of Bioversity International. FPS and Vietnamese program partner – AOG World Relief Vietnam, were invited to participate as a case study in Bioversity International’s project – Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition (B4FN).
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’.
Read about Rotary’s great opportunity to end malnutrition now.
And, Food Plant Solutions has received a Letter of Support from the preeminent leader in our field – Bioversity International.
Plus lots more!
Please share this exciting newsletter with your network.
Letters of Intent with our Program Partners
Food Plant Solutions has 14 Letters of Intent (LOI) signed with Program Partners from all around the world. The LOI’s document the agreed aims and intentions of both parties and showcase the varied work that FPS is involved with. A comprehensive list can be obtained here.
Bioversity International’s Letter of Support for FPS
Recently Food Plant Solutions (FPS) has received a Letter of Support from Bivoersity International’s Director General – Ann Tutwiler. Bioversity International is regarded as the pre-eminent leader in our field and through the Letter of Support recognise the importance of our work.
We would welcome you sharing this news with your network.
Our February newsletter has some exciting news that includes Bruce French’s well deserved recognition for his lifetime work. We encourage you to share our news with your network.
Letters of Intent with our Program Partners
Food Plant Solutions has 11 Letters of Intent (LOI) signed with Program Partners from all around the world. The LOI’s document the agreed aims and intentions of both parties and showcase the varied work that FPS is involved with. A comprehensive list can be obtained here.
A dynamic workshop was held recently, for the development of a mobile App that will allow people in developing countries to have immediate access to what foods grow where and what are the most nutritious. Listen to the interview here.
Exciting developments in China and Indonesia, a review of RI Convention and more all in our latest Newsletter.
FPS at Rotary International Convention, Sydney 1st – 4th June
Be Part of FPS in Sydney!
With Rotary International Convention in Sydney fast approaching, FPS will have a booth there – No. 105. Please visit us when you are in the house of friendship and if you are able to share some of your time with us on the booth, it would be appreciated.
If anyone will be in Sydney early and could assist us in setting up the booth on Friday morning before the conference, please contact Una Hobday@firstname.lastname@example.org
Break Out Session- Monday, June 2nd, 3.30- 5.00pm
ANZ Stadium – Olympians Room
Annual General Meeting- Wednesday, June 4th, 2.00- 3.00pm
Novotel Hotel, Parklands Room
Food Plant Solutions booth- Daily, June 1st – 4th
Booth No. 105
FPS May Newsletter
Read about the exciting developments with Food Plant Solutions.Newsletter
FPS February Newsletter
Read about projects being undertaken in various countries in our latest latest Newsletter
News posts from 2013
Breakout Session at Rotary International Convention in Lisbon
Food Plant Solutions will be presenting at a Breakout Session with Rotarians Fight Against Hunger and Malnutrition at Rotary International Convention in Lisbon. Breakout Session
Rotary International Webinar – Join the Global Fight Against Hunger and Malnutrition
In October 2012 the Food Plant Solutions team created a strategic plan covering 2013 – 2016. From this you can read about our values, our mission, critical success factors, strategic priorities, strategies and reporting under the strategic plan. The future of Food Plant Solutions is here! Strategic Plan
Learn Grow and Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group represented at Rotary International Assembly in San Diego
Learn Grow and Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group combined to man a booth at the Projects Fair, as part of Rotary’s International Assembly in San Diego, California from 15-21 January 2012.
An annual event, the purpose of the International Assembly is to educate, motivate and inspire district governors-elect to lead Rotarians in their districts. Through plenary sessions, group discussions and fellowship activities, future governors gain the hands-on information they need for the coming year.
The activities of Learn Grow mesh very well with the Rotary theme of Peace Through Service for 2012-13 announced by Rotary International President-Elect Sakuji Tanaka, at the Assembly. “Violent conflicts often lead to hunger and reduced food production. And the reverse is also true. Hunger and lack of access to essential facilities often lie at the heart of violent conflicts”, Learn Grow Chairman, Buz Green said. “Drawing on its extensive database of some 24,000 edible plants, Learn Grow seeks to share knowledge about using local food plants with international food aid providers, helping to bring hope to the hungry and malnourished.”
International Assembly offered a great opportunity to share the Learn Grow vision and show district governors-elect from around the world how clubs in their districts can become involved and make a difference. Strong interest was expressed in the project, with 27 districts signing up to become actively involved and many others collecting literature to become more informed.
Special thanks is extended to our friends in Australia and overseas who most ably manned the display and spread the message.
Peracto News features the Learn Grow project as its cover story
Learn Grow Chairman presented with Lifetime Achievement Award
Learn Grow Chairman, Buz Green, has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding service of almost 40 years to the horticultural industry. The accolade was presented at the AUSVEG National Awards for Excellence in Hobart, Tasmania on 12 May 2012. Click here
End Malnutrition Now: The Evergreen Revolution
The presentation bearing this title made at the Rotary International Convention in Bangkok on 9 May 2012 was a collaborative effort beween Learn Grow and AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center. click here
Learn Grow work recognised by international funding agency
The Rotary Club of Devonport North is pleased to announce that it has attracted a grant of $US25,000 from the Monsanto Fund to further the development of the Learn Grow project. Click here
Hungry to help: Bruce French’s quest
Looking for an inspirational read? Then don’t miss this feature story providing background to the ongoing development of the database of over 24,000 food plants by Tasmanian agricultural scientist, Bruce French. Photos and story reproduced courtesy of Saturday Magazine of 4 August 2012, Mercury Newspaper, Tasmania, Australia. Click here
Farm scientist inspires
The feature on agricultural scientist, Bruce French, published in The Mercury newspaper (see latest news item of 8 August 2012) prompted a letter to the editor of that newspaper by reader, John Tindall.
The letter is reproduced here with the consent of the author.
Thank you for running the story of agricultural scientist Bruce French in the Saturday Magazine (Mercury on Saturday, August 4). I found the story informative and uplifting. This story deserves to be run on the front page not tucked away in the Saturday Magazine (no offence intended to the magazine). A lifetime of dedication to the cause of feeding people the world over. Identifying and using existing natural food sources and providing key information without any financial gain, puts this man up there with gold medal and Nobel Prize winners. How he has maintained his focus is amazing and inspiring. He is subjected to the indifference of our Government and others, who are no doubt more impressed with big food business interests and the gains each can make from pushing each other’s barrow. Our Government could allocate a few million dollars of aid funding to get the information Mr French has produced to the people of the world, who could really benefit from it and in one relatively simple action make a big difference. John Tindall – Deep Bay, Tasmania, Australia
News posts from 2011
December 2010 Newsletter
Solomon IslandsOur first major program in Solomon Islands. was focused on addressing the rapid population growth in Solomons, and imported foods, particularly rice and biscuits, are becoming major articles of diet. This is not only expensive for the country, but leading to overweight and obesity on a large scale, with all the consequent health problems now pressuring the country’s health services.
Using the information in the FPI database, Bruce has prepared 5 publications to suit various technical levels, including 3 different publications (Leafy Greens, Root Crops, and Fruits and Nuts) for Solomons farmers to use. The project was officially launched in Honiara on August 2010 to an enthusiastic and appreciative reception.
Food plants International On Emerald Planet Television
On 16 May 2011, Bruce French and Buz Green were interviewed on Cable TV station Emeral Planet about Food Plants International and Learn Grow. Bruce discusses his work in various countries and the purpose of Food Plants International. Buz explains the work of Learn?Grow, the role of Rotary and the strategies that have been adopted to make use of the information Bruce has developed.
New Daily Online Newspaper on Food, Agriculture and Climate
If you wish to be up to date with world news about food security, agriculture, food and climate change then please sign up for ComingFamine’s daily online newspaper: It’s absolutely free: there are no costs or charges in this pro bono service to raise awareness of the global food situation.
International Symposium on Underutilised Plant Species
Food Plants database developer, Bruce French, delivered a presentation at the 2nd International Symposium on Neglected and Underutilized Species titled “Crops for the Future – Beyond Food Security” held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in June 2011.
This symposium discussed the potential role of underutilised plant species and their contribution to global food security and nutrition, buffering the consequences of climate change and enhancing agricultural biodiversity.
Bruce French’s presentation “Edible Plants of the World – Database” attracted much interest.
There is chronic malnutrition throughout the tropical world, with up to one billion going hungry and a child dying every 4-5 seconds from malnutrition. A child becomes blind due to vitamin A deficiency every minute. Less well-known but locally adapted food plants, especially leafy greens, are crucial to meeting this hidden hunger. The changing paradigm for food production using agro-ecological methods is the strategy to produce what is being called “The Evergreen Revolution”. It is considered the way of the future.
There is an exciting new interest among scientists such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, as well as other national organisations, to research these crops. They are seeking to highlight the virtues of these plants and this approach, since most so far have been at an individual country or crop level.
The presentation delivered by Bruce about the Food Plants International database of over 23,000 plant species and Learn Grow received a good reception. In addition, this work was the only one to receive a specific commendation in the final wrap-up session.It is hoped that significant collaboration and distribution networks will develop from the visit and the conference. A new research centre, focusing specifically on native under-utilised crops, is to be established in Malaysia to give these plants the attention they deserve.
Preserving our crucial food heritage
The respected National Geographic magazine, in its July 2011 issue, reported that the world’s looming food crisis should impel us to preserve our crucial heritage of food species. The magazine’s concern is understandable – and the clock is ticking. Food variety extinction is happening fast and very little is being done to preserve the genetic diversity of our foods. Disturbingly, experts estimate that we have lost more than half of the world’s food varieties over the past century.
And this is the potential problem – if disease or climate change decimates the varieties we’ve come to depend upon, we may desperately need those varieties we are allowing to become extinct. The devastating 19thcentury Irish potato famine is just one warning of a community’s over-reliance on a single food source. Ethiopia, commonly depicted as a famine-prone region, is one country which has benefited in part from the efforts of renowned plant geneticist, Melaku Worede, who has set out to preserve and rebuild the country’s rich biodiversity.
In 1989, he initiated the Seeds of Survival program – a network of community seed banks that save and redistribute the seeds of local farmers.
Worede believes it is crucial to preserve the region’s diversity, not just in seed banks, but on the ground and in close consultation with local farmers. The challenge has been to show that it’s possible to increase productivity without sacrificing diversity.
A parallel effort is under way with local indigenous livestock breeds. Keith Hammond, a UN expert on animal genetics, says that in 80 per cent of the world’s rural areas, the locally adapted genetic resources are superior to imported breeds.
Visit by Henry Gwao from Solomon Islands publicised in The Advocate of 3 November 2011
Henry Gwao from the School of Natural Resources at Solomon Islands College of Higher Education is currently visiting Tasmania. He is working with the University of Tasmania and Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research to become conversant with the database of food plants of Solomon Islands before returning to his home country in December.
The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia highlights availability of information on edible food plants
The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia is currently highlighting the availability of what it describes as the “excellent, growing resource” of Learn Grow on its website: http://permaculture.org.au/2011/11/26/learn-grow-edible-plant-information-resources/ It is referring to the comprehensive edible plant list information for a number of specific regions of the world (a work-in-progress) and two plant disks – Edible Plants in Tasmania and Food Plants in Australia. The disks are available and can be purchased from this website.
Learn Grow Chairman wins prestigious award
Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) recently announced Learn Grow Chairman, Buz Green, as the winner of the Graham Gregory Award.
This award has been the horticulture industry’s most prestigious accolade, recognising outstanding achievements from all sectors in horticulture. Buz is the Executive Chairman of Serve-Ag Pty Ltd, a leading provider of agronomic advice, technology and inputs to farmers. He has been a significant influence on Tasmania’s earned reputation as a reliable supplier of both processed and fresh market horticultural products over the past 35 years.
Named for the late Graham Gregory AO, the first Chairman of the former Horticultural Research and Development Corporation, this award recognises Buz and his considerable achievements. His expertise will help Learn Grow continue to achieve its aim of helping the hungry around the world to feed themselves.
Learn-Grow in Rotary Down Under
The article is titled “From Little Things, Big Things are Starting to Grow”. It gives a good summary of our aims and outlines several areas where Learn-Grow can use additional support. RDUarticle
News posts from 2009
Successful visit to Solomon Islands
The Learn?Grow team has returned home safely after a very successful visit to the Solomon Islands. The interest in the project and the enthusiasm for it significantly exceeded expectations and strong indications of support were received. Meetings were held with a wide range of individuals and groups in three of the nine provinces and included attending meetings of the Rotary Clubs of Honiara and Gizo, the only two in the country.
Meetings involved government representatives in the areas of Health, Education, Agriculture and Rural Development, NGOs including Oxfam, World Vision, World Vegetable Centre, APHEDA and CIP, Rural Training Centres, Church Missions, community organisations and others. Draft publications were introduced to obtain feedback and these were very enthusiastically received, to the extent that many asked whether they could be left with them while we were there. A number of potential channels were identified to enable the information and publications to be extended to remote communities and villages where they are most needed.
Much insightful information was also gained on the many issues that need to be considered in the development of sound extension strategies to support the implementation of the program. A Rotarian from the Honiara Club, Mark Johnston, has agreed to represent the program in the Solomon Islands. Mark is well placed to undertake this role as he is an experienced agriculturist who is seconded to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. The team included Bruce French, Food Plants International, Buz Green, RC of Devonport North, Mary Wharton, RC of Burke, USA, and Troy Melville, film maker. The Rotarians in the team were supported by a Rotary Volunteer Service Grant.