The impact of the homestead food garden programme on food security in South Africa
This paper in the journal Food Security evaluates the impact of the homestead food garden (HFG) programmes, implemented by the South African government and directed at enhancing food production in order to reduce food insecurity, malnutrition, poverty and hunger. The findings demonstrated that participation in an HFG programme could significantly enhance the food security status of participants by increasing household food supply and consumption as well as by income derived from selling any excess production from the garden. Specifically, the empirical findings showed that participation in the HFG programme significantly reduced food insecurity among rural households by as much as 41.5%. Therefore, the authors recommend that policy makers should encourage more rural households to participate in the programme in order to reduce their food insecurity. Facilitating easy access to credit, extension services, fertilizer, irrigation facilities and land are policy options needed to promote farmers participation in HFG programmes. Furthermore, the formation of farmer-based organizations and the building of positive perceptions about HFGs are some of the key policy options that can be employed to improve households’ participation in the programme. Promotion of education, participating in off-farm activities, access to market, irrigation, extension and credit, and adoption of fertilizer are some policy interventions that can reduce food insecurity among rural house holds whether or not they participate in the HFG programme.