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FAO Report highlights the benefits of complementing cash grants with home gardening practices

FAO Report highlights the benefits of complementing cash grants with home gardening practices

30/06/2015

Social protection grants complemented by agricultural programmes, which enhance communities’ production capacities, can significantly improve food and nutrition security at household level. A study conducted by FAO to assess the impact of complementing cash grants with a home gardening, productive package has concluded that both the farm production and nutrition status of the targeted families improved significantly.

These findings provide evidence for further development of synergies between social protection and agriculture as indicated in the Lesotho Social Protection Strategy, approved by the Government of Lesotho early in 2015.

The impact report states that, families receiving both cash and homestead gardening support achieve more than those that only received money. The combination of cash and homestead gardening support “has the potential to positively impact the food security and welfare of poor families,” notes the impact report. “This report also confirms that combining cash transfer and home gardening support represent a concrete option to improve the production capacity among families having very restricted capacities to produce food for themselves”, said Borja Miguélez, FAO Operations Coordinator in Lesotho.

The report also stresses that impacts differ considerably based on the demographic nature of the household. The impact is more significant among families restricted on labour capacity and with less options of devoting themselves to productive activities.
This project assisted 800 families with a pack of various vegetable seeds and training on homestead vegetable production adapted to their prevailing climatic conditions. These families were enrolled in the Child Cash Grant Programme (CGP) in Leribe District – 142 kilometres north east of the country’s capital city. The CGP is a social protection programme which provides an unconditional social cash transfer benefitting some 80 000 children.

It targeted ultra-poor and poor households with children. They received home gardening support made of 50 grams of six different varieties of vegetable seeds and training on home gardening techniques such as keyhole and trench gardening.
The results of the impact assessment carried out by the “from Protection to Production project”, were presented in Maseru on 18 June 2015 to Government, Development Partners and Civil Society Organizations.

This pilot project was funded by the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development and was implemented in partnership with Catholic Relief Services and Rural Self-Help Development Association.

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