Improving peri-urban home gardens in Hyderabad, India
Abstract: Insufficient intake of vegetables is a reason for micronutrient deficiencies and malnutrition in developing countries. With urbanization, globalization and a growing world population it is of major importance to secure sufficient food supply for the world’s population. Part of the solution to increased food security among the world’s poor could be the introduction of vegetable home gardens, plots for small scale vegetable production which can provide households with sufficient vegetables as well as serve as an extra income source. The study Improving peri-urban home gardens aims at examining the existence of vegetable home gardens in the peri-urban areas of Hyderabad, India. The impact from these home gardens on vegetable consumption and food security for peri-urban as well as for urban population is to be determined. In addition, the study tries to understand what driving forces occur through the value chain of peri-urban vegetable production. This will as well give knowledge about the inputs used in vegetable production systems and how the inputs affect the consumers’ purchasing habits. The study was performed in a qualitative manner through interviews with farmers, consumers and traders. For each type of respondent group a specific questionnaire was designed. The results were analyzed and interpreted after which a field visit to rural areas in the state of Jharkhand was done for comparison of rural and peri-urban home gardens. The results showed that home gardens are rare in peri-urban areas of Hyderabad, mainly due to lack of space. Hence, the home garden produce doesn’t have a significant impact on either vegetable sustentation systems in the area or vegetable consumption. Education on nutritional value of vegetables as well as on input usage in commercial vegetable production seems to be needed. Respondents in the study are not significantly interested in vegetable production systems and the usage of chemical inputs. More concerns are put on factors such as price and freshness of vegetables. Still the study shows some indications on concerns about health and inputs to some extent. In contrast to the peri-urban areas in Hyderabad the home gardens found in rural areas played a significant role for the poor population. They served as a major source of vegetables and in many cases even as an important source of income. Home gardens could possibly gain more attention and interest from the population in peri-urban Hyderabad if more nutritional information was available. More research on the topic is also necessary for further home garden improvement in urban and peri-urban areas.
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