The effect of women’s home gardens on vegetable production and consumption in Bangladesh
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Home-based vegetable production has been recognized as a nutrition- and gender-sensitive intervention that has the potential to improve nutrition in developing countries, yet evidence is lacking. This study tested whether women’s training in improved home gardens (including nutrition as well as technical aspects) contributes to increased production and consumption of vegetables, which are necessary preconditions for improving nutrition. The study used data from 582 poor rural women in two districts of Bangladesh (479 control and 103 intervention). Training increased the per capita production of mostly leafy vegetables from 20 to 37 kg per year (+86 %). Diversity of production and frequency of harvesting also increased. In terms of nutrient yields, the improved gardens increased the supply of plant proteins by 171 %, iron by 284 %, vitamin A by 189 % and vitamin C by 290 %. Training had a significant impact on the diversity of vegetables consumed, based on 30-day food frequency data and also increased the relative involvement of women in the home garden for all gardening tasks. These results indicate that women’s home gardens are an effective intervention in Bangladesh for increasing the supply and consumption of a diverse range of vegetables in poor rural households, thereby contributing to nutrition security.
KeywordsImpact assessment Nutrition Gender Home gardens Bangladesh
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) provided the financial support for this study under the project “Improving incomes, nutrition, and health in Bangladesh through potato, sweet potato, and vegetables.” The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID. We thank the journal editor Derek Headey, and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive criticism.
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