n Gender and Behaviour - Perception of home garden potentials among women in Edo south ecological zone, Nigeria

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1596-9231



In view of the pivotal role women play in household food production, income generation, nutrition and health synergy which are crucial to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the study examined women's perception of the potentials in home gardening. The study involved 145 women (mean age = 44.5 years) randomly selected from urban, peri-urban and rural communities in southern zone of Edo State. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire and presented descriptively. Results revealed ninetyseven (66%) of the women in the study owned home gardens ranging from less than 0.05m2 potted vegetables and spice / medicinal plants to about 200m2 of undeveloped plot or "no man's land" for the cultivation of cereals legumes, roots and tubers, fruit trees and heads of small ruminants and poultry. The major reasons for ownership of the gardens include; the need to increase food production, to improve health and nutrition, income generation, use available space and as a hobby. Reasons given for not owning home gardens include lack of space, water shortage, lack of time, inadequate knowledge of improved practices as well as shortage and high cost of improved inputs. Although women show a strong positive perception of home garden as a potential solution to enhance food security, good health and nutrition, their perceptions that home garden could alleviate poverty and address environmental degradation were rather negative. The major constraints to optimizing home garden potentials include lack of space, shortage of water, dearth of knowledge of improved practices, shortage of improved inputs and pest and disease infestation. It is recommended that amelioration of identified constraints mainy through improved extension delivery on home gardening would contribute to the achievement of the relevant MDGs targets.

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