Crop species richness in homegardens increased in a homestead food production cluster-randomised trial in Bangladesh
Katja Kehlenbeck1, Jillian Waid2, Abdul Kader3, Amanda S. Wendt2, Sabine Gabrysch2
1Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Institute of Public Health, Germany
Homegardening can contribute to both food security and dietary diversity of households by increasing availability of and access to nutrient-dense foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. We examined the impact of a Homestead Food Production programme on crop species richness in homegardens as implemented by the NGO Helen Keller International. Around 2700 women in 96 settlements of rural Habiganj, Sylhet, Bangladesh were enrolled in the ‘Food and Agricultural Approaches to Reducing Malnutrition’ (FAARM) cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Homestead Food Production programme was implemented in the 48 intervention settlements from mid 2015 to late 2018. Over the study period, trained data collectors interviewed women regularly on the number of crop species harvested in their homegardens by season (hot-dry, monsoon, and winter). During the baseline survey in early 2015, we collected annual data on crop species richness for the previous year. Over the ten seasons considered for analysis (from hot-dry 2016 to hot-dry 2019), we collected 31,639 observations of 2,699 women. We estimated the intervention's impact on crop species richness comparing means and using multilevel regression controlling for baseline levels of crop species richness.
Keywords: Diversity, fruits, healthy food, impact, intervention, vegetables
Contact Address: Katja Kehlenbeck, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Institute of Public Health, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany, e-mail: katjakehlenbeck.org