Invasive food crops to combat hunger and malnutrition (Willem Van Cotthem)

As a plant biologist I still wonder why we accept that cargo vessels full of bulk food (wheat, corn, rice, bananas, … ) import tons of weeds, insects etc. in every harbour in every country, while one is shivering when we send an envelope with carefully washed and dried seeds of a clean papaya, melon or watermelon to hungry people in a developing country.

You never know, they could be invasive and disrupt the local biodiversity equilibrium !

I hope to see once in my lifetime invasive tomatoes, carrots, onions or beetroots taking over the waste dumps or barren soils.  Imagine the Sahara and the Gobi desert full of flowering food crops.  Imagine the Horn of Africa transformed in a Garden of Eden with all those invasive delicious plants, offering food or fodder.

What a catastrophe that would be !

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

%d bloggers like this: