The growing population in many regions around the globe has unfortunately contributed to the increase in poverty and scarcity in food supplies. Home gardens can actually contribute to food supplies, as well as rural employment and incomes in the heartland of America and abroad. It is forecasted that by the year 2010, the world’s population will have attained 7.3 billion, which over 90 percent of those will reside in progressing nations.
To keep pace with population increases, there’s a creation of urban employment which will be difficult, yet not impossible. The maintaining of viable rural employment is crucial to prevent a boom of urban poverty. It is estimated by economists and nutritionists that there are approximately 815 million undernourished people in the world, with 95 percent in developing countries; more than 20 percent are babies and children. Combined with undeveloped food production and transport systems, poverty in the rural populations restricts them vastly to locally cultivated products.
Home gardens play a role and contribution in addressing the food scarcity dilemmas. Acknowledged by development organizations since the 1970s, home gardening is a major aspect of research into farming systems that generated greater understanding of farmers and the households in agriculture and rural development organizations. To improve rural and inner-city livelihoods in developing regions, the development organizations have promoted home gardening with one or more of these objectives:
to diversify income as well as rural employment;
to improve the quality and the quantity of household food supply as it improves nutrition;
to improve the status of women in civilization;
to improve waste management and water at the household and community stages;
to reduce stress on wild food resources
Specialist research institutions, such as the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center, have developed advanced-level home-garden structures for particular purposes. As an example, this is to provide cost-efficient daily Vitamin A necessities. The FAO and others have helped communities around the globe to amend home garden technologies for a wide array of purposes, including nutrition improvement, women’s incomes, school gardens and rural livelihood. These investments and efforts have normally been thriving when people have had access to enough services and resources to enable them to choose their own alternatives. A home garden about a few square meters can supply enough Vitamin A, Vitamin C and other nutrients to meet a growing child’s requirement. It can give women with a cash income and increase the resilience of modern families to withstand shocks to their income and their health, to steer clear of a further slide into poverty.
There is still great potential for home gardening to improve the lives of people in developing countries, especially in Africa, South America, Central America and the dry regions of Asia. Successful approaches need only to be broadened by local adaptation and partial external support.
Small-scale technologies to shield cultivating and stored crops from cold have augmented the potential for gardening in cool temperate and high-altitude environmental zones within Northern and Central Asia. The close link between homes and gardens means that home gardening is a vital tool for communities to use in remaining abreast with socio-economic development. It can be effective as a stand-alone program or as a factor of a large area-based rural development project.