Improving Household Diet Diversity Through Promotion of Nutrition Gardens in India

Improving Household Diet Diversity Through Promotion of Nutrition Gardens in India

This paper describes the introduction of nutrition garden to address household diet diversity in Wardha, Maharashtra and Koraput, Odisha. The study started with a detailed baseline survey and its assessment in 2013-14 along with designing and promotion of nutrition gardens of fruits and vegetables. A seasonal calendar of locally available vegetables was prepared and seed kits/saplings were distributed accordingly. Data on area, types of vegetables grown, number of households participated, production, and utilization was collected regularly through nutrition garden utilization card. Further, awareness programmes on health, balanced diet, hygiene and sanitation were conducted on regular basis at both the project sites. This study examines nutrition garden utilization data of 2015-16 and 2016-17 following two years of intervention and compares it with the baseline. A representative sample size of 190 households was selected at each study site and their change in food consumption (quantity and frequency) was compared between baseline (2014) and endline (2017). Over the period (2015-17), 43 and 28 varieties of plants were found in the nutrition gardens of Koraput and Wardha, respectively as against two or three types of plants generally grown during the baseline (2013-14). The entire produce from nutrition garden was used for household consumption in Wardha while in Koraput, 10-20 per cent was also distributed to neighbours or sold. Monthly per capita consumption of fruits and vegetables, both quantity consumed and frequency of consumption, showed marked increase between baseline and endline. Increased availability of different groups of vegetables also fulfilled the household nutritional requirements.