Homestead Food Production (HFP) in Bangladesh: An Approach to Improve Diet Quality and Enhance Micronutrients-Rich Sustainable Food Security
8 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2017
Date Written: October 30, 2016
This paper deals with diet quality and micronutrient nutrition as an essential yet overlooked component of food security- i.e. safe and nutritious food. Vitamin and mineral deficiency (VMD) is at the core of massive malnutrition in the world today. ‘Hidden hunger’ is a chronic lack of micronutrients which is basically a problem of balanced and healthy diet, affecting two billion people worldwide from reaching their physical and mental potential. Several strategies to combat VMD have been undertaken in Bangladesh on both a short and interim measures. However, agricultural intervention through dietary diversification has been found to be the most viable strategy in the long-term and on a sustainable basis. There is sufficient evidence to believe that higher intake of locally available fruits and vegetables on a regular basis might reverse the VMD. The Homestead Food Production (HFP) program in Bangladesh promotes an integrated package of home gardening, with the aim of increasing the health and nutritional status of women and children. This paper presents major finding derived from an empirical study of HFP in the northern Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs), Bangladesh, involving 120 households represented by ethnic women of child-bearing age. The underlying objective is being to provide an effective approach to sustainable nutrition solution in the country. The Chittagong Hill-Tracts is a classic example of an underdeveloped region with an overwhelmingly rural, low income agro-based economy, seeking to achieve basic goals of development in both social and economic terms. There is ample evidence to show that HFP program in Bangladesh has improved food security for more than 5 million vulnerable people in diverse agro-ecological zone. In the study area, the HFP program has significantly improved the food security status of the sample population in terms of production, diversification, consumption and sale of nutritious foods.
Keywords: Food Security, Homestead Food Production, Micronutrients and Nutrition
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