A home gardening tactic developed to address undernutrition in rural households in Tanzania

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AkiNIk Publication


The aim of the project was to implement, monitor, establish and assess the impact of vegetable gardening combined with a household-based nutrition education in rural areas in Tanzania on nutritional status and dietary diversity. The objectives of the intervention were to increase production and consumption of green leafy vegetables as well as increasing participants’ knowledge of nutritional aspects. Nutrition training covered various gaps observed in a preceded nutrition survey (baseline). Gardening practical demonstrations and hand on implementation skills were carried out to the participating 360 households. Data on demographics, vegetable consumption patterns, dietary diversity and nutritional status were collected at baseline and endline periods. Pearson’s chi square tests were conducted to compare the baseline to endline results for each section of the questionnaire. Results indicated that 75.8% of the caregivers had never heard about pocket/bag/sack vegetable gardening at baseline but at endline all the caregivers (100%) had heard about this type of gardening whereas 77% of the caregivers had never received any kind of nutrition education and 85.2% did not know anything about food groups at baseline, but during the endline study, 82% had ever heard about nutrition training and 95% knew about food groups. At baseline only 27% of households had a high Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) as compared to 52% at endline. For the vegetable types that were introduced in the kitchen gardens, daily and weekly consumption rates increased by 10- 50% from baseline to endline periods. Water shortage, pests, diseases and insects were reported by a significantly (p<0.05) percentage of households in the end of the intervention than at the beginning of the intervention. The intervention increased consumption of green leafy vegetables, dietary diversity and participants’ nutrition knowledge in the topics covered. The project recommends progressing this type of intervention further by selecting foods containing high vitamin A amounts to be included in the pocket/sack gardens.


Book Chapter in "Research Trends in Food Technology and Nutrition, Chapter 6 2020, pp. 212-143


Kitchen gardening, Sack/bag garden, Green leafy vegetables, Consumption patterns, Household, Nutrition training