Stocktaking exercise of Kitchen Garden Interventions in South Asia (Bangladesh and India)

Food and Nutrition Division, FAO, United Nations

Project Under Domains: Nature-based Solutions, Safe Food & Nutrition; Sub Domains: Sustainable production systems

The Resilience, Entrepreneurship, and Livelihoods Improvement (RELI) Project, succeeding the Nuton Jibon Livelihood Improvement Project (NJLIP), received approval in May 2021. This project aims to expand livelihood improvements for 750,000 rural individuals in 20 districts across 3,200 villages over five years, with a budget of USD 300 million. In collaboration with FAO, it focuses on enhancing nutrition outcomes, particularly through the distribution of vegetable seeds for kitchen gardens (USD 5.8 million) under Subcomponent A.3 Health and Nutrition.

Another initiative, the Chhattisgarh Inclusive, Rural, and Accelerated Agriculture Growth (CHIRAAG) project, seeks to increase income opportunities and improve nutrition availability in Chhattisgarh’s tribal areas, addressing high poverty and malnutrition rates. This project adopts a Nutrition-Supportive Agriculture approach, promoting household nutrition through activities such as kitchen garden promotion, behaviour change communication, and women’s empowerment under Subcomponent 1.2 Household Food Availability and Nutrition Practices. FAO wished to prepare a brief knowledge piece on kitchen garden intervention with the following objectives.


The goal was to provide a succinct knowledge piece, outlining kitchen garden interventions in South Asian investment projects, especially in India and Bangladesh, while considering other relevant countries. It would summarize lessons learned, including integration benefits and challenges. Furthermore, it would present recommendations for enhancing kitchen garden initiatives within RELI and CHIRAAG, focusing on improving input packages for the most vulnerable beneficiaries with a priority on nutrition.

Approach and Methodology

We compiled key insights into home and kitchen gardens, combining primary data from consultations with project implementers, technical experts, and community representatives involved in homestead gardening initiatives in India and Bangladesh. Our discussions included Odisha-State Rural Livelihood Mission representatives, Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society, GIZ’s Securing Nutrition and Enhancing Nutrition (SENU) project, RELI project, FAO in Bangladesh, and kitchen garden and nutrition experts. We supplemented this primary data with an extensive review of literature, encompassing publications, reports, project documents, and assessment reports related to home and kitchen gardening. We used both primary and secondary data to draw meaningful conclusions. Additionally, we organized a brainstorming session to compare and evaluate insights from various homestead gardening projects, enhancing our theoretical framework.


The outcomes of our efforts encompass a comprehensive understanding of Kitchen Garden Interventions within investment projects across South Asia, with a specific focus on India and Bangladesh. Importantly, we’ve formulated recommendations tailored to the RELI and CHIRAAG initiatives, emphasizing enhancements to the current input package to better address the needs of the most vulnerable beneficiaries while prioritizing nutrition considerations.