Bioversity International: research for development in agricultural and tree biodiversity

Filling two needs with one deed

17 Oct 2017

An initiative with important potential boosts both nutrition and women empowerment through home gardening.

In spite of a general reduction in malnutrition among children under five in Vietnam, the country’s northwest is still troubled by poor diets, food insecurity and a high prevalence of stunting.

Ky Hoang, Statistics Specialist, HealthBridge Vietnam and Bioversity International research partner, reports on an intervention conducted in Vietnam with the aim of curtailing malnutrition, demonstrating the success of home gardening, and that it is actually twofold.

The initiative, led by Jessica Raneri from Bioversity International, promoted growing and eating a variety of nutritious foods by way of cooking demonstrations, nutrition education, subsidizing seeds and seedlings, and coaching households on gardening techniques.

This resulted in a significant difference in diet diversity and quantity of nutritious foods consumed by women and children compared to the control group. What is more is that major changes were also observed in women’s roles in decision-making. The home gardening interventions empowered women on matters related to what crops to plant and sell, how to use harvests and what foods to include in diets.

According to Hoang, these findings could allow for scaling up into more sustainable models for improving nutrition and diet quality in Vietnam in the future.

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Read more about improving diet quality in Northwest Vietnam. 


This study was carried out in partnership with HealthBridge Vietnam.

This research is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) and is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors.

Photo: A home garden in Vietnam developed with the support of Bioversity International's Diversity Club project. Credit: Bioversity International/J.Raneri