This an actual aid poster from Africa that highlights a key problem of western food aid Wrong plant – a plant better adapted to the location would be appropriate Wrong place – cabbage is a temperate plant not well suited to be grown in the tropics. Wrong methods – Rows are not necessary unless machines are being used and it is more sustainable to grow plants in mixed communities than in a mono-culture. Wrong food – cabbage has very low food value and is not appropriate for malnourished communities – explained in following slides.
There are 67 plants with 10 times the amount of iron in cabbage, ....and 8 plants with 100 times the amount, out of 500 potential leafy green tropical food crops.
Monienh is a common tropical weed. Western agricultural advisers usually do not have knowledge of its nutritional value and regularly recommend this weed be removed to grow western food crops such as cabbage. This highlights the need to re-think food production for starving communities. It is necessary to turn modern agricultural training around and in this case pull out the crop and eat the weeds!
Ask anyone what to eat if you want to get vitamin C and most will say “Oranges”. Oranges and other citris plants do have reasonable levels of vitamin C but other food plants have much higher levels. For people deficient in any vitamin or mineral it is best to identify and grow the best available plant with the richest source of the missing nutrient. For tropical countries guava has three time the amount of Vitamin C as citrus and is much better suited to the tropical environment.