Impact of a women's garden project on nutrition and income in Senegal

During the last forty years, several development agencies such as the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the United States Agency for International Development, and the International Development Research Center, have supported the introduction or extension of vegetable gardening in the tropics. The aim of most garden projects has been to improve the nutritional status or diversity of the diet of certain target groups and to raise the income of the vegetable growers through the sale of produce. Although a large number of such projects have been initiated (Brownrigg 1985), very few have been evaluated and it is not clear to what extent home gardens fulfill these expectations and have had a measurable impact on nutrition and income in the project areas. It appears to be generally assumed that there is a significant link between increased production of vegetables, increased income, and improved nutritional status. The complexity of the relationship between those potential changes, as well as many other aspects of garden projects, have often been overlooked.