In Ethiopia the average Ethiopian consumes only 42 kg of fruits and vegetables each year. This is significantly less than the WHO recommendations of an average of 146 kilograms per year. Fruits and vegetables are fantastic sources of minerals and vitamins essential to our bodies.
Inadequacy can have a serious impact on the health of our bodies, increasing the chance of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and certain cancer types that, in turn, raise the likelihood of death before it occurs. In Ethiopia, poor-quality diets are now recognized to be among the primary factors behind the increase of non-communicable diseases in the country.
The issue is that fruits and vegetables are usually too pricey and difficult to afford for the majority of. In Ethiopia the average household would need to invest greater than 10 percent of their income in order to satisfy the international recommended amount for two servings of fruits as well as three portions of veggies per day per person.
To make it easier to access fruits and vegetables and increase the availability of fruits and vegetables, the Ethiopian government Ethiopia is actively promoting the cultivation of gardens in homes on huge scale throughout the country. From 2016, the Ethiopian government’s goals to encourage homesteads are 40 percent of households living in rural areas by 2020 and 25 percent of urban households by 2020.
The home garden is an area within the property that is used to cultivate vegetables and fruits for the entire family. Contrary the traditional smallholder farming practices, the land that is cultivated is tiny, and the plot is situated close to the house, which permits the cultivation to continue throughout the year as it is watered with the water source of the home.
It’s not something new. Numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like Helen Keller International, for instance. Helen Keller International has launched gardening at home programs. These programs were created to show families how to grow fruit and vegetables to eat for themselves and to enhance their nutrition knowledge. In Africa, these programmes have been implemented in over 20 countries in the last decade.
There are good grounds to doubt that these programs offer a long-term and cost-effective method of dealing with inadequate nutrition.
In the course of a recently conducted investigation in Ethiopia We set out to determine how effective garden programs at home are and whether it means more countries should attempt to implement it. It’s the very first study that examines a massive government-funded project, and we are hoping it will help us understand whether these initiatives are feasible or not.
Home garden concerns
There are three long-standing issues for researchers and practitioners who have backyard gardens.
First, the majority of backyard food production programs were implemented by NGOs that are often staffed with highly motivated and trained personnel. However, a sustainable scale-up eventually involves handing over the management of the program to official health professionals or employees of the government who are typically tasked with many other responsibilities and do not be able to handle the same tasks.
In addition, vegetables and fruits generally require plenty of water in order to thrive. As of now, gardening programs for homesteads have mainly operated in locations that have access to water not a major problem.
In addition, Some economists have questioned the need for all households to create food for themselves. This is particularly true in regions where food markets perform fairly well.
We wanted to know how these concerns manifested in Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Home Gardens
Ethiopian households have been practicing gardening in their homes for many centuries. However, the lack of nutritious fruits and vegetables in rural areas appears to justify the need to scale up and improve the practice. This is due to the fact that most smaller-scale “backyard” production has historically concentrated on high-calorie but nutritionally poor crops like maize or the ent (false banana) or stimulants like coffee and Khat.
We analyzed the extensive survey data collected from more than 2,500 household members spread across diverse chronically food-insecure districts within Ethiopia. This is the place where smallholder agriculture that is based on cereals is the primary source of income.