PanAfricare Blog

Healthy nutritious meal courtesy of cone gardens


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Access to diversified diets is a challenge to most households especially those in arid and semi-arid regions in Kenya. Low agricultural production means a low supply of food or high food prices. Access to diversified diets is, therefore, close to impossible. Poor eating habits occasioned by the consumption of fewer food groups contribute to rising malnutrition rates.

In Nadapal village in Turkana County, PanAfricare through the IMPACT Program funded by Bayer Fund supported a women group to set up  vertical conical gardens. The first phase saw the women receive five cone gardens fully equipped with a tank, fence, shade net, and irrigation system set. The goal of this intervention was to increase access to nutritious vegetables.

Among the women supported is Rebecca Akidor, a mother of five. She carefully tenders to the growing vegetables while she picks jute mallow (murere) leaves. The nutritious jute mallow leaves will be part of her family’s next meal.

On the five cones grows jute mallow, coriander, tomatoes, and kales. Rebecca is quick to note that the cone gardens have been of great help in providing daily vegetables. “The gardens utilize less water compared to the other gardens. Being a very dry region, the cone garden technology works here very well because the shade net and the watering system ensure water is always with the plants.”

Rebecca Akidor says the kitchen garden has been helpful in providing her family with daily vegetables. She notes that she now saves on what she would have spent on vegetables and only budgets for the maize flour. “We have also realized that they are more productive. I wish we had more of such gardens in this village because I am sure we would all have sufficient vegetables. We would even have a surplus because they are very efficient and highly productive.”

As a way of improving access to nutritious diets, PanAfricare rolled out the cone garden technology which has been impactful in communities they were set.  The IMPACT Program’s goal is to reduce the rates of malnutrition among children, pregnant and lactating women in Katilu and Turkwel wards of Turkana County by improving access, availability and utilization of nutritious diversified diets.