Poverty rate is rising in many cities in developing countries, and city residents face difficulties in securing fresh food. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the urban poor in developing countries, spend 60% or more of their income on food. Over the recent years there has been growing interest to strengthen and intensify local food production in order to mitigate the adverse effect of global food shocks and food price volatilities. Home garden systems are an integral part of local food systems and the agricultural landscape of developing countries and it help improve household food security and nutrition, reduce the costs spending on purchasing food, increase consume fresh food, reduce adverse effect of market price changes, make easy accessibility and reduce spoilage of fresh produce in transportation.
Home gardening has been practiced for centuries in Sri Lanka in rural landscape. There is a growing concern on the promotion of home gardening in urban areas in order to enhance household food security and nutrition. Research for Development Innovations (ReDI) Alliance Lanka initiated a community empowerment project to apply home garden concept to grow vegetables and fruits in small plot of land in the Colombo district. The project will assess social, economic, and environmental benefits to communities in urban settings. Hence, the project will identify impacts of home gardens in the urban context towards addressing food insecurity and malnutrition as well as providing additional benefits such as income and livelihood opportunities for resource-poor families, high prevalence of non communicable diseases and delivering a number of ecosystem services.
The project will contribute to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger by addressing the nutritional needs of the people in vulnerable situations and promoting sustainable food production systems.
Forty (40) house holders were trained on modern home gardening methods as a part of the project. We observed the gardens after two months and 32 from 40 houses have done the home gardening very successfully.