VOA Report: Forest Food
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From VOA Learning English, this is the Science Report. Experts predict 9 billion people will live on our planet by 2050. They say by that time demand for food will be two times greater than it is now. Even now, more than 800 million people go to bed hungry. One answer may be as close as our forests. A new report says forests could help reduce hunger and improve nutrition. Sayay Veoun works at the Cambodian Federation for Bee Conservation. He said some of the best honey in the world comes from forests in southern Cambodia. He says they work with five local honey buyers who work with 42 honey collectors. Healthy forests provide half of the fresh fruit we eat worldwide. They also produce valuable crops like coffee, avocados, cashews and other healthful seeds and nuts. Bhaskar Vira is the director of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute and an expert with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations, or IUFRO. It recently released a report at the United Nations about forest and jungle foods. Mr. Vira says crops that grow on trees can help feed people living in and around forests. Mr. Vira says well-managed fields and forests can exist together. He says by increasing field food production, you can keep the forest and trees. The report says that forest health and economic value improve when people who live in or near forests are given greater control of them. One example is a project in Ghana. The people involved hope to grow the Allanblackia plant. The oil from its seed can be used in soap, beauty products and food. The trees provide shade and improve air quality.