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How Permagardens and Kitchen Gardens Contribute to Household Food Security: An Assessment of Gardens in Nepal

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Promoting Agriculture, Health and Alternative Livelihoods (PAHAL) is a five-year development food-security activity funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). PAHAL was implemented by Mercy Corps and partners from 2014 to 2019 in fourteen districts in the hill and mountain areas of Mid- and Far-Western Nepal. The program was designed to improve the food security of vulnerable communities and build their capacity to learn, cope and adapt in the face of shocks and stresses. More specifically, the program aimed to improve access, availability, and use of food and income with associated health and nutrition benefits through improved agricultural production and marketing.

This report presents the findings from a study of the PAHAL permagarden and kitchen garden activities, one component of the program’s broader food security and resilience-building strategy. The main objective of the study was to assess the impact of these gardens on household food security and identify any associated income and nutrition benefits. The study also investigated the adoption rates of new farming technologies and practices and assessed to what extent the PAHAL gardens helped people cope with two of the most prevalent shocks and stresses in the program area: crop pests and disease, and water shortages. The study explored other benefits derived from the gardens as well, and comparisons between the two approaches of permagardens and kitchen gardens.

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