Kitchen Garden

Why to choose this solution?
Kitchen gardens aim to improve food security, health, and livelihoods among local communities.
Savings per day or production:
They reduce household expenditures on vegetables. An average family can save 2,000 Uganda shillings (USD 0.5) per day. Three keyhole gardens can supply a large family of 10 members with a variety of crops during a year.
Cost in money and in own time to construct:
Requires little land and investment to set up. An investment of 5000 USh (USD 1.4) is needed to establish the garden. Family/home labour is required, and it takes approximately 3-5 hours to establish.
3-5 years.
Maintenance needed:
It is easy to maintain. It only requires regular weeding, fertilizer application, replacing of the compost baskets, planting seeds, and harvesting crops, which is not extremely time-consuming or difficult.
Resources needed in use:
Time, knowledge/competencies, and materials (seedlings, garden tools such as hoes, knives).
Problems and limits:
Construction can be somewhat effort intensive but not cost intensive. Setting up the garden involves many measurements and carrying of a lot of soil to make a heap (40 wheelbarrows of soil are needed to make a heap). If measurements are not accurate, the whole shape may be lost.
Where and how can you get it or make it?
JEEP trains communities in how to establish such gardens. The garden can be established in kitchen space, compound, or courtyard. It is available in Uganda mainly in the central and northern parts of the country.
Skills needed to produce, install. maintenance, use:
Hands-on skills, vocational skills, home-mentored skills. Knowledge of basic gardening: when to plant, use compost, weed and harvest; what kind of seeds to use.
How to use it:
Not relevant.
How to maintain it:
Regular weeding of the garden.
Climate effect (if any):
In the keyhole garden, farmers grow a variety of plants of which some have insect-repellent properties thus decreasing pest occurrence and also eliminating the costs of pesticides and their negative effects on the environment.
Where it is used and how many users are there?
In Uganda, over 10,000 people have established such gardens in central, northern, western, southern and eastern parts of the country. More over, JEEP has trained around 150 people in South Sudan in establishment and maintenance of the key hole gardens.
Why is it successful?
It is made through the use of locally available materials. It requires some knowledge and skills and a small piece of land. It is easy to make. Usually, they are made near houses. Keyhole gardens enable anyone to farm easily, which is especially suitable for elderly and for physically challenged farmers. There is no need for tillage and less need for water. All forces are oriented towards achieving food security in a sustainable manner.
If you can make it, a short description, typical problems, materials needed.:
Materials such as stakes, black soil, banana fibres, compostable kitchen waste, garden waste, manure (compost, farmyard manure, poultry litter), bricks/ plastic bottles, dry mater, water, seedlings, basin, hoe, spade. Knowledge and skills are needed to establish. Materials may not be available in some communities.
How to make it (if possible):
Needs a skilled person to make.
How is it delivered and by whom?
Keyhole gardening is a home-based income generation activity. Delivery model is practical hands-on and participatory in nature. Business model is establishment by skilled / trained persons. The solution can be implemented individually, as a group or family who can sell the grown food stuffs to traders and directly to consumers. Trained trainers of trainers (TOTs), CSOs have got a key coordinating function in implementing the solution towards ensuring food security and improved livelihoods.
Successful financial model
Kitchen gardens are often promoted as a way to cut household costs by providing low-cost access to fruits and vegetables. Kitchen gardens are profitable, if the fair market value of garden labor is excluded from calculated costs. Local environmental conditions, gardening practices, and crop choices will influence the actual net value realized by individual gardeners.
What policies and strategies helped the success?
Government programs, private-sector programs, use of trainers of trainers (ToT) approach; support from development partners in the promotion of urban agriculture; and awareness-creation on the need for a sustainable food-production approach.
More info:
JEEP, 7 Miles, Gayaza Rd, Kyanja, Kampala, P. O. Box 4264, Uganda. Tel: +256 414 578 316.
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