A map can be a powerful visual tool, but can a map help solve world hunger, rejuvenate agricultural soil, and prevent mosquito-borne infections? Can a map help slow global warming and spur sustainable economic development in tropical regions around the world? Perhaps a map alone can't do these things, but a map can help display the real potential of a very special tree, the breadfruit.
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a tropical tree originally from Papua New Guinea with a rich and storied history. This starchy staple crop has been grown in the Pacific for close to 3,000 years and was first introduced to other tropical regions more than 200 years ago. The trees are easy to grow and thrive under a wide range of ecological conditions, producing abundant, nutritious food for decades without the labor, fertilizer, and chemicals used to grow field crops.