Raised vegetable gardens in India
To improve the dietary diversity and nutrition status of women and children in West Bengal, Tdh and its local partner NGO Human Development Centre promote keyhole gardens which are flood resilient and secure diverse and adequate quantity of vegetables for families.
Canning II block is a disaster-prone area in the Sundarbans affected by cyclones, floods and water logging during monsoons. Due to high salinity and clay texture of the soil, agricultural practices and vegetable production has been challenging in the area. As a solution to this problem, we construct keyhole gardens, wide circular raised-bed gardens with a composting area in the centre. Composting materials can be added to the basket throughout the growing season to provide nutrients for the plants. They are low cost, ecologically sound and produce a better range of fruit and vegetables throughout the year than traditional homestead gardens.
We construct keyhole gardens in selected households having children under five in order to provide the families with direct access to important nutrients that may not be readily available or within their economic reach. Hence, the households with keyhole gardens can save expenditure on purchase of vegetables and these gardens contribute actively to the improved health and nutrition of the household members.