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Gianna Gruen | Ideas

Multi-talented trees that fight hunger, climate change and poverty

Breadfruits can be an alternative to convenient crops. (CC BY 2.0: virginia.mcmillan)

Sometimes, all it takes is the right idea to kill (at least) two birds with one stone. And that’s what Mary and her husband Mike had back in 2008. They wanted to find a way to address hunger in their native county Jamaica. That’s why they decided to plant more breadfruit-trees, because the breadfruit itself can be used for several different dishes. And their plan worked: not only did Mary and Mike help alleviate hunger, but they also helped bring some green back to the region, benefiting the climate, too. That’s the concept that drives their organization, the Trees that feed Foundation.

With their project, they also boosted the local economy by developing a model for farmers to share. And their idea encouraged follow-up projects, too. In cooperation with another non-profit organization, the Compatible Technology International, they developed a breadfruit-mill out of a bicycle – and thereby developed a CO2- neutral way to process the fruits.

And since then, their plan has only spread further, from breadfruit to other trees that produce edible fruits, like the moringa and pigeon pea trees as well as mango and guava trees. “Our intent is to supply trees for planting in small farms, field margins and urban backyards. We will focus on plants that require minimal use of fertilizers and agricultural chemicals”, the Foundation explains on its website.

If you would like to support Trees that feed and help them expand to communities in the Caribbean, Central America and Africa,go to check their website to find out how.


April 26, 2012



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