Backyard nutritional kitchen gardening-A success story
Farmers of rural Odisha with small backyard spaces have been using this space for commercial monoculture and disposing the produce in local market. However while purchasing the vegetables for household purpose from the same local market the poor farmer has an obvious habit of purchasing the cheap vegetables irrespective of their nutritive value. This practice deprived them of a combination of nutritive vegetables from their menu especially due to higher prices. This issue has been addresses under NAIP project “Sustainable livelihood improvement through integrated freshwater aquaculture, horticulture and livestock development in Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Sambalpur districts of Orissa” through backyard kitchen gardening (bari) model proposed by Central Horticultural Experiment Station, Bhubaneswar to the selected beneficiaries. The farmers were encouraged to go for cultivation of diverse vegetables and fruits primarily for house consumption. They were provide with initial critical inputs and a pack of assorted seeds containing seasonal vegetables having a combination of leguminous, fruit, root, and leafy vegetables like Okra, Bitter guard, Ridge guard, Cowpea, Cluster bean, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Bottle guard, Snake guard, Palak, Drumstick, Brinjal, Chilli, Tomato etc. The baris were also provided with fruit crops like Papaya, banana, guava, mango, pine apple etc. The model has been a success in several adopted villages. The collateral benefit from this model has been the empowerment of farm women through increased participation in cultivation practices in bari and earnings from selling the excess produce from bari in local markets. Mrs Tikina Dehury, wife of Sri Lokanath Dehury is a successful backyard kitchen gardener from Bhatunia village of Sadar cluster of Keonjhar district. She has education only up to class VIII and did not have any prior knowledge of Kitchen gardening. Through the model, she received vegetable seed kit for bari development. She adopted the technology and she got 900kg bari vegetable produce. Out of which 650 kg was consumed by her family and 250 kg was sold in local haat to earn gross income to the tune of approximately ` 11500 in a year. Now she is happy to enhance the nutritional affordability for her family and earn an addition income from sale of surplus produce.