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Home Gardens in Nepal

135 Pages · 2007 · 1.4 MB · English

  • Home Gardens in Nepal


    Home Gardens in Nepal








    6-7 August 2004, Pokhara, Nepal








    Resham Gautam, Bhuwon Sthapit and Pratap Shrestha, Editors























    Citation:



    Gautam, R, BR Sthapit and PK Shrestha (eds.) 2006. Home Gardens in Nepal: Proceeding


    of a workshop on "Enhancing the contribution of home garden to on-farm management of


    plant genetic resources and to improve the livelihoods of Nepalese farmers: Lessons learned


    and policy implications", 6-7 August 2004, Pokhara, Nepal. LI-BIRD, Bioversity International


    and SDC.




    Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD)


    PO Box 324


    Pokhara


    Nepal




    Bioversity International


    Via dei Tre Denari 472/a


    00057 Maccarese (Fiumicino), Rome


    Italy




    Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)


    Coordination Office


    PO Box 113


    Kathmandu


    Nepal




























    ii


    Table of Contents



    Chapter I: Status of homegardens in Nepal



    The value of Home Gardens to small farmers (Bhuwon Sthapit, Resham Gautam and Pablo


    Eyzaguirre)………………………………………………………………………………………..8



    Home Garden’s Contribution to Livelihoods of Nepalese Farmers (Ram P. Pulami and Deepak


    Poudel)……………………………………………………………………………………………..18



    Homestead Food Production Program in Central and Far-Western Nepal Increases Food and Nutrition


    Security: An Overview of Program Achievements (Aminuzzaman Talukder, Gopi Sapkota, Sharmila


    Shrestha, Saskia de Pee, Martin W Bloem)………………………………………………….….27



    Home Gardens: An Opportunity to Minimize Pressure on Slash and Burn System and Option for


    Improving Dietary Diversity on Chepang Households (Bimal R Regmi, Kamal P. Aryal, Bir B.


    Tamang and Pratap K. Shrestha)……………………………………………………..….. ……..35



    Home gardening as a household nutrient garden (Krishna G.C)……………………………..48



    Farmer's experience in home garden improvement (Surya Adhikari)……………………….53



    Chapter II: Understanding diversity of homegarden



    Status of Home Gardens of Nepal: Findings of Baseline Survey Conducted in Four Sites of Home


    Garden Project (Resham Gautam, Rojee Suwal and Pratap K.


    Shrestha)……………………………………………………………………………………………..54


    Does Shannon-Weaver Index Explain the Species Diversity in Home Gardens? (Sharmila


    Sunwar)……………………………………………………………………………………………….66



    Staus and composition of Plant Genetic Diversity in Nepalese Home Gardens (Abishkar Subedi, Rojee


    Suwal, Resham Gautam, Sharmila Sunwar, Pratap K. Shrestha)……..………………………72



    The Role of Gender in the Home Garden Management and Benefit-Sharing from Home Gardens in


    Different Productction System of Nepal (Anu Adhikari, Deepa Singh, Rojee Suwal, Pratap K.


    Shrestha and Resham Gautam………………………………………….…………………………..84



    Assessment of Dietary Diversity: A Basis for Promoting Plant Genetic Species in Home Gardens


    (Resham Gautam, Rojee Suwal and B.R. Sthapit)………………………………………………...99



    Chapter III: Enabling and empowering homegarden farmers



    Enabling and Empowering the community through Collective Learning Process: Lessons Learnt from


    Farmers’ Traveling and Learning Workshop (Rojee Suwal, Resham Gautam and B.R.


    Sthapit)…………………………………………………………………………………………………105



    Policy Supportive Issues in Home Gardening with Respect to Agricultural Bio-diversity and


    Improving Rural Livelihood (Bharat Upadhyay) ………………………………………………..113



    Mainstreaming findings of home garden project for on-farm biodiversity management and improving


    livelihoods: Policy and programme implications (Pratap K Shrestha, Resham Gautam and Bhuwon


    Sthapit)……………………………………………………………………………………………….…119



    Annexes


    A: Summary of the Meeting…………………………………………………….……………126


    B: Presentation of Plan Nepal……………………………………………………………….. 130


    C: List of authors ………………………………………………………………..……………132


    iii Foreword



    Pablo B. Eyzaguirre


    Senior scientist, Diversity for Livelihoods Programme


    Bioversity International, Rome



    This book on Nepalese home gardens brings together new research findings and


    perspectives to show us how home gardens contribute to the development, nutrition, and


    well being of rural households. The extensive literature on home gardens has addressed the


    various aspects of food security, nutrition, income, gender, biodiversity and ecosystem


    services that characterise home garden systems. The authors of this volume have gone


    further than simply enumerating the attributes of home gardens; they have shown how home


    gardens can be supported and mobilized as a development intervention that contributes to


    empowering rural households by generating income and improved nutrition in ways that are


    embedded in local cultures and traditions.



    One of the analytical contributions the authors make is to reveal the importance of the


    traditional multi-story, multi-purpose home garden that is rich in biodiversity as a crucial


    asset for livelihood and health. While terms like kitchen garden have been used by


    development agencies in order to emphasise the food security and income aspects,


    especially for women, the other health, nutrition, and ecological benefits to households may


    have been undervalued. This book has established a clear link between home garden


    biodiversity and the dietary diversity that underpins good nutrition and health. Working with


    nutrition programmes and development agencies from government and non-government


    agencies, the authors have been able to document these linkages and contributions to


    incomes, food security, nutrition and health in practice. Finally, if not belatedly, we are


    reaching a global consensus that economic development of the rural poor must be part of a


    process of empowerment based on control over resources, governance and support for local


    institutions the poor can manage. For the authors of this book, home gardens are essential


    biological assets under the control of rural households, managed by rules that are


    embedded in the culture and customs that lie at the heart of community cohesion and


    identity. The great achievement of this book is that it demonstrates how development based


    around the traditional Nepali home garden systems fosters community empowerment and


    well being.



    The International Plant Genetic Resources Institute is grateful to have been part of the


    research partnerships that produced this work. The support and motivation provided by the


    Swiss Development Corporation (SDC) in Nepal enabled us to build innovative partnerships


    among LIBIRD, the National Agricultural Research Council and Department of Agriculture,


    National Nutrition Programme of Nepal, Plan Nepal, Care Nepal and leading global actors in


    health and nutrition such as Helen Keller International. We hope that this work in Nepal can


    serve as model to further community-based biodiversity management for food security,


    nutrition and health.


    iv Acknowledgements



    The publication is a product of the LI-BIRD implemented project entitled “Enhancing the


    contribution of home gardens to on-farm management of plant genetic resources and to


    improve the livelihoods of Nepalese”. The project is coordinated globally by the IPGRI and


    financial contribution is made by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).


    We gratefully acknowledge the support provided by LI-BIRD, IPGRI and SDC to the project.



    We are grateful to Dr. Pablo Eyzaguirre, global coordinator to the home garden project for


    his persistent encouragement and support provided to the project. We are thankful to the


    professional experts especially Dr. Timothy Jones, McGill University, Canada, Dr. RB Rana,


    Research Officer, International and Rural Development Department (IRDD), The University


    of Reading UK, contributing authors, field staff of the project and the collaborating farmers


    and farming community for their contribution and participation at the various stages of the


    project. We wish to thank national project partners' viz. National Agricultural Research


    Council, Department of Agriculture, National Food Nutrition Programme of Department of


    Food Technology and Quality Control, Plan Nepal, Care Nepal and Helen Keller


    International for their effective collaboration with the project.



    Finally, we are thankful to Ms Smreety Dewan of Bioversity InternationaI-APO, Nepal and


    Mr. Shashish Maharjan for technical support provided and Ms Rachhya Shah, Ms Sita Tiwari


    and Ms Muna Udas of LI-BIRD for their contribution in word processing, formatting, layout


    and publication management of the proceedings.


    v Acronyms



    AEZ Agri-Ecological Zones


    ANOVA Analysis of Variance


    BLM Broad Leaf Mustard


    CBS Central Bureau of Statistics


    DADO District Agriculture Development Office/Officer


    DDC District Development Committee


    DEPROSC Development Project Service Center


    DFID Department For International Development of UK


    DLSO District Livestock Services Office/Officer


    DoA Department of Agriculture


    DOS Disk Operating System


    FFS Farmers’ Field School


    FTLW Farmers’ Traveling and Learning Workshop


    H’ Shannon-Weaver Index


    HARP Hill Agricultural Research Project


    HG Home Garden


    HGRC Home Garden Research Committee


    HH House Hold


    HKI Helen Keller International


    IAAS Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science


    ICIMOD International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development


    IDE International Development Enterprises


    IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development


    IGA Income Gnerating Activities


    IK Indigenous Knowledge


    INGO International Non-Governmental Organisation


    J Evenness Index


    KDS Kami, Damai and Sarki (ethnic group)


    Kg Kilogram


    KSLUB Kerala State Land Use Board of India


    LI-BIRD Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development


    MV Modern Varieties


    NAF Nepal Agroforestry Foundation


    NARC Nepal Agricultural Research Council


    NEST Nucleus for Empowerment through Skill Transfer


    vi NGO Non-Governmental Organisation


    NNP National Nutrition Programme


    NNSWA Nepal National Social Welfare Association


    NOVIB Netherlands Organization for International Development Cooperation


    NRCS Nepal Red Cross Society


    NRs Nepalese Rupees


    PRA Participatory Rural Appraisal


    RRN Rural Reconstruction Nepal


    SALT Sloping Agricultural Land Technology


    SDC Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation


    SOLVE Society of Local Volunteers’ Effort


    SPSS Statistical Package for Social Sciencees


    Sq.m Square meter/meter square


    SWI Shanon-Weaver Index


    TOLI Team Organising for Local Initiatives


    UBINIG Policy Research for Development Alternatives (in Bengali)


    VDC Village Development Committee


    Vit Vitamin


    VMN Village Model Nursery


    VMNPF Village Model Nursery and Poultry Farms


    WTO World Trade Organisation


    λ Simpson Index


    vii The Value of Home Gardens to Small farmers



    Bhuwon Sthapit, Resham Gautam and Pablo Eyzaguirre



    ABSTRACT



    The home garden is a traditional component of the rural ecosystem that has been practiced


    for a long time by farmers. Home gardens are often overlooked as an important source of


    food and nutrition at national level. For subsistence and poor farmers, crop varieties and


    cultivars adapted to particular micro-niches around homesteads are crucial and accessible


    resources available to provide a secure livelihood. The purpose of this paper is to review the


    value of home gardens that contribute to not only food and nutrition but also a wide range of


    social, economic and environmental benefits to people. The paper also describes the goods


    and services provided by agricultural biodiversity in home gardens that interface between the


    natural ecosystem, orchards and crop fields. The paper suggests that the home garden


    could be an entry point to empower the community to manage on-farm agricultural


    biodiversity while promoting dietary diversity for healthier families and ecosystems.



    Key words: Home gardens, kitchen garden, ecosystem, value, dietary diversity, nutrition



    DEFINITION



    A home garden is a micro-environment composed of a multi-species (annual to perennial,


    root crops to climbers etc), multi-storied and multi-purpose garden situated close to the


    homestead (Quat, NX, 1996; Watson and Eyzaguirre, 2002; Hodgkin, 2002). A home garden


    refers to the traditional land use system around a homestead, where several species of


    plants are grown and maintained by the household members and their products are primarily


    intended for the family consumption. Several terms have been used to describe these


    garden production systems, such as “homestead garden, backyard garden, kitchen garden,


    agro forestry, mixed garden, garden culture, etc” (Helen Keller International, 2001; Mictchell


    and Hanstad, 2004). The term “home garden” is preferred because it stresses the close


    relationship between the garden and the social group residing at home. The home garden


    provides a bridge between the social and biological, linking cultivated species and natural


    ecosystems, combining, and conserving species diversity and genetic diversity (Eyzaguirre


    and Linares, 2004). The importance of home gardens is evident across countries and


    societies. Different cultures and customs have different names for this homestead production


    system, for example, Conuco in Cuba and Venezuela (Castineiras et al., 2000; Mulas et al.,


    2004), Vuon nha in Vietnam (Trinh et al., 2003), Pekarangan in Indonesia (Abdoellah et al.,


    2003). Those millions of households throughout the world that keep their biodiversity close at


    hand, that use it daily for multiple purposes, that imbue it with cultural and spiritual value, are


    providing a lesson to all humanity on the importance and value of biodiversity. For this


    reason alone, Eyzaguirre and Linares (2004) voiced that home gardens are to be celebrated,


    supported and conserved.



    The Nepalese context



    The home garden, literally known in Nepali as Ghar Bagaincha, refers to the traditional land


    use system around a homestead, where several species of plants are grown and maintained


    by household members and their products are primarily intended for the family consumption


    Figure 1, (Shrestha et al., 2002). The term “home garden” is often considered synonymous


    to the kitchen garden. However, they differ in terms of function, size, diversity, composition


    and features (Table 1). In Nepal, 72% of households have home gardens of an area 2-11%


    of the total land holdings (Gautam et al., 2004). Because of their small size, the government


    has never identified home gardens as an important unit of food production and it thereby


    8 remains neglected from research and development. Traditionally home gardens are an


    important source of quality food and nutrition for the rural poor and, therefore, are important


    contributors to the food security and livelihoods of farming communities in Nepal. They are


    typically cultivated with a mixture of annual and perennial plants that can be harvested on a


    daily or seasonal basis. Biodiversity that has an immediate value is maintained in home


    gardens as women and children have easy access to preferred food, and for this reason


    alone we should promote home gardens as a key element for a healthy way of life.



    Home gardens, with their intensive and multiple uses, provide a safety net for households


    when food is scarce. These gardens are not only important sources of food, fodder, fuel,


    medicines, spices, herbs, flowers, construction materials and income in many countries, they


    are also important for the in situ conservation of a wide range of unique genetic resources


    for food and agriculture (Subedi et al., 2004). Many uncultivated, as well as neglected and


    underutilised species could make an important contribution to the dietary diversity of local


    communities (Gautam et al., 2004). Nepalese home gardens are dynamic in their evolution,


    composition and uses. Their structure, functions, and both inter- and intra-specific genetic


    diversity, have been influenced by changes in socioeconomic circumstances and the cultural


    values of users of these gardens. Furthermore, farmers often use home gardens as a site for


    the experimentation, introduction and domestication of plants (Shrestha et al., 2002;


    Eyzaguirre and Linares, 2004). Typically, home gardens are valued for the following specific


    uses (Shrestha et al., 2002):


    • Food security, nutrition and a cash income


    • Fodder, firewood and timber


    • Spices, herbs and medicinal plants


    • Green manures and pesticide crops


    • Cultural and religious uses


    Home gardens also constitute a valuable part of the in situ conservation method, but their


    importance for genetic resources conservation is still not widely recognized. Home gardens


    are common in many rural areas of Nepal. They usually have a well defined structure with


    fodder and fruit trees predominant at the periphery of homestead. Moving inwards, the


    canopy is progressively reduced by planting vegetable and arable crops. Gautam et al.,


    (2005) reported that there are many key species that are found only in home garden and


    they are interconnected by informal germplasm exchanges.



    Reasons for the rich diversity of species in home gardens



    Home gardens, one of the oldest forms of managed land-use systems, are considered to be


    the richest in species diversity per unit area. Several landraces and cultivars, and rare and


    endangered species have been preserved in the home gardens (Watson and Eyzaguirre,


    2002; Kumar and Nair, 2004). However, species richness of home gardens within a region is


    influenced by homestead size, structure, climatic conditions, market and socio cultural


    forces.


    In the wetter parts of the middle hill areas of Nepal (e.g. Illam), more than 75% of home


    gardens have 21 to 50 diverse species per household, whereas the drier conditions of Gulmi


    nurture 11-40 species (Gautam et al., 2004)1. In Nepalese home gardens, richness of home



    1 A project entitled “enhancing the contribution of home gardens to on-farm management of plant genetic


    resources and to improve the livelihoods of Nepalese farmers” is being implemented by LI-BIRD and the


    farmers group with financial support from SDC. The project is coordinated globally by IPGRI. The project is


    implemented in four districts of Nepal viz., Ilam (representing eastern mid-hill, wet weather conditions), Jhapa


    (representing eastern Terai, wet weather conditions, mix ethnic group of indigenous Terai communities and


    migrants from hills), Gulmi (representing western mid-hill, dry weather conditions) and Rupandehi


    (representing western Terai, dry weather conditions, mix ethnic group of indigenous Terai communities and


    migrants from hills).


    9


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