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Kitchen Gardens in Burundi – “the new way to grow vegetables”

by Sara Delaney, Senior Program Officer, International Programs, Episcopal Relief & Development

Sara Delaney presented at ECHO’s November 2015 International Agriculture Conference. One project she mentioned had remarkable adoption rates, and we thought it would make a good case study to share in EDN. In the course of introducing new ideas or practices, why are some accepted more easily, quickly or widely than others? This article proposes some reasons for the initial success of kitchen gardens in Burundi, and also shares a method for trying to measure the impact that kitchen gardens will have on the food security and nutrition of the families who use them.

Excerpt: "The kitchen garden model has many benefits. It requires only a small area, and can be made inexpensively or even at no cost by using readily available or recycled materials. The design can easily be modified. The garden is supplied with nutrients by the compost basket in the center. Especially when mulched, the garden requires less water than a typical garden.

"PEAB and IARD led a series of trainings on kitchen garden construction techniques, and then—following construction—on composting, crop management, seed saving, nutrition, and cooking techniques. Each household received 4 to 10 training sessions, over a period of two or three months. Staff later followed up with visits that included opportunities to receive advice and troubleshooting."

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