Analysis of Nutritional Contribution of Homegardening

K.H. Dharmasena, M. Wijeratne


The purpose of this paper is to examine the contribution of homegarden products to the food and nutrition of the Sri Lankan's diet. This study was carried out in Mapalana and Radawela, two villages of the Matara district in Southern Sri Lanka. Thirty families from each village were randomly selected and information was gathered using a pre-tested questionnaire. Based on this investigation, the following findings can be highlighted.
Average homegarden size in Mapalana and Radawela was found to be as 0.7 ac. and 0.5 ac., respectively. The corresponding monthly average income was Rs. 310 and Rs. 162. Coconut (Cocos nucifera), jak (Artocarpus heterophyllus), bread fruit (Artocarpus incisa), mango (Mangifera indica), guava (Psidium guajava), banana (Musa sapientium), cloves (Syzygium eugenia caryophillus), coffee (Coffea spp.) and pepper (Piper nigrum) are the most common perennials found in both villages. As annual crops sweet potato (Ipomea batatas), manioc (Manihot esculenta), chillies (Capcicum spp.), brinjol (Solanum melongena), and okra (Hemidesnus indicum), are often found in homegardens of both villages.
Almost all the homegarden products are for household consumption while major parts of the production of cloves, coffee, and pepper were sent to the local market. At Mapalana. homegarden products claim a share of 12 % of the recommended per capita calorie requirement for an average person in Sri Lanka, and 14 % in Radawela. Contribution of protein to the daily per capita protein requirement from homegarden products is very low at only about 5.8 % and 8.4 % at Mapalana and Radawela, respectively. The above calorie and protein supplies come from approximately 50 % of the land extent under homegardens at both villages. Further, cropping intensity of homegardens at Mapalana was 53 % and 69 % at Radawela.
This study demonstrates that there is a potential to increase the homegarden food production by launching programmes on technical assistance and effective utilisation of existing resources. Efforts should be made to increase the productivilY of land resource because a considerable portion of land is being under utilised in this farming system.

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