The National Tropical Botanical Garden established the Breadfruit Institute in 2003 to promote the conservation, study, and use of breadfruit for food and reforestation.
The National Tropical Botanical Garden established the Breadfruit Institute in 2003 to promote the conservation, study, and use of breadfruit for food and reforestation. The Institute is a global leader in efforts to conserve and use breadfruit diversity to support regenerative agriculture, food security, and economic development in the tropics and serves as the international center for breadfruit research and information resources. The Institute curates, studies, and conserves the world’s largest repository of breadfruit diversity—150 cultivars—at NTBG’s Kahanu Garden, Maui, and McBryde Garden, Kauai.
The Institute is also engaged in a Global Hunger Initiative to respond to critical global food security issues and deforestation by expanding plantings of good quality breadfruit varieties in tropical regions. This work is central to our participation in the Alliance to End Hunger—a coalition of 90 corporations, non-profit organizations, universities, individuals, and religious groups working to end hunger domestically and internationally.
The institute is using the knowledge acquired by more than 30 years of conserving and studying breadfruit to plant trees in tropical countries for food and reforestation, provide economic opportunity, and educate the public about the benefits of growing–and eating—this underutilized crop. Thousands of breadfruit trees now circle the globe in the tropics from Chuuk to the Caribbean to Cameroon.
Breadfruit not only provides a critical food source for countries identified as not having enough to eat, it also provides a means to improve local economies through farming, retail produce, and the creation of value added products. In countries like Haiti and Bahamas where deforestation is widespread due to devastating storms and changing lifestyles, breadfruit trees offer shade and shelter for people, animals, and other crops while providing lumber, improving soil biology, and reducing erosion.
The institute is dedicated to teaching our global community what a vital role breadfruit can have in increasing future food security and improving environmental sustainability