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 19,000 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
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
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
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.