Does Backyard Vegetable Gardening Enhance Perceived Household Food Security and Dietary Diversity?

By: Julieta Dorado  

The people’s rights and control over access to foods they prefer is viewed within the framework of food sovereignty approach. In this study the translation of the approach was investigated through the backyard vegetable gardening and the relationship to dietary behaviour of schoolchildren and households and perceptions on food security. The implementation of Backyard Vegetable Gardening Program (BVGP) was assessed in two Philippine provinces and the National Capital Region (NCR), covering four municipalities, two cities in the NCR and 10 barangays. Barangay is a term referring to village and it is the basic political unit in the Philippines. In-depth qualitative data were obtained on the experiences and perceptions of program participants on backyard vegetable gardening through key informant interviews and focus group discussions (FGD). Food intake of the children and the households was determined by asking about the foods consumed for the past 24-hours for two non-consecutive days, using the dietary diversity score (DDS) questionnaire. The findings show that gardening continues to be a women’s concern and it enhances the feeling of being food secure. Households with and without garden did not differ in knowledge about the importance of vegetable consumption. Unexpectedly, having vegetable garden did not affect the dietary behaviour of school children and households. The dietary diversity scores of schoolchildren and households with and without garden are equally low. The study recommends that backyard vegetable gardening program be put in more comprehensive review taking into account the annual resources allocated for it and to ensure the efficacy and sustainability of the program.

Dietary Behavior, Food
Food Production and Sustainability
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Julieta Dorado

-, -, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Philippines
-, Philippines