Solidaridad launches the Home Gardening initiative in Ghana


Solidaridad launches the Home Gardening initiative in Ghana

Solidaridad, an international civil society organization (and GNBCC Member) , has launched its flagship food security campaign, the Home Gardening Initiative aimed at empowering individuals and urban communities to take control of their nutritional needs.

The initiative, which is Solidaridad’s response to the increasing food insecurity in Ghana and the growing concerns about nutrition in urban homes, is in partnership with Home Gardening Ghana, an online community with over 250,000 members.

Inspiring urban dwellers

Solidaridad seeks to inspire urban dwellers to take an active role in home gardening, providing them with the knowledge and resources needed to secure their nutritional needs. Additionally, a comprehensive training in good gardening practices will be provided for vegetable growers.

A two-day event was organized on 8 and 9 December at the Efua Sutherland Children's Park in Accra on the theme “Working together to grow safe and nutritious foods” to launch the initiative The event brought together home gardening enthusiasts, industry experts, development investors, farm input vendors and service providers, and featured exhibitions, expert-led educational workshops and panel discussions. It also provided valuable insights and learning opportunities and served as a networking platform for participants.

Tackling food security

Currently piloted in the Greater Accra region, the Home Gardening Initiative will be expanded to other regions following its successful implementation in Accra. This strategic approach underscores Solidaridad's commitment to addressing food security challenges at a broader scale.

“With an ever-increasing urban population of which an estimated 3.6 million Ghanaians are food insecure, home gardening can play a crucial role in improving food security when individuals grow the vegetables they consume,” said Bossman Owusu, Country Representative for Solidaridad in Ghana.

Bossman indicated that besides consuming healthy foods, home gardening provides therapeutic value and creates a learning opportunity for children to be familiar with plants and animals that are raised at home. Nutrition

Dr Frank Ackah, Crop Scientist and founder of Home Gardening Ghana said in urban vegetable production, the consumption risk is frequently linked to the use of contaminated water, soil, and chemicals. These pose health risks, including food-borne illnesses. Consequently, consumers may hesitate to buy produce from urban vegetable producers, contributing to poor nutrition among households."

“A lot of people are now more conscious about their health and are now more interested in growing their vegetables. The initiative will provide a solution to concerns about vegetable sources,” he said.

The Home Gardening Initiative will also promote circular practices such as composting and recycling of domestic wastes for gardening. The holistic solution will empower individuals to contribute positively to their communities and the environment.

A shared vision with the Netherlands Embassy and Ministry of Agric Naomi Tuinstra, Second Secretary at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, said the initiative aligns with the Netherlands’ commitment to advancing food security and sustainable agricultural practices.

She said the embassy recognises the critical role that small-scale, community-based initiatives play in enhancing local food production and ensuring access to nutritious sustenance for all.

“Ghana’s agricultural landscape holds immense potential, and this initiative served as a beacon of hope, offering tangible solutions to enhance local food production,” she intimated.

Naomi said the embassy aspires to empower individuals and communities to cultivate their own sustenance to enhance food security at the grassroots level through the promotion of sustainable practices, knowledge sharing, and information dissemination.

For his part, Dr Solomon Gyan Ansah, the Director of Crop Services at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, emphasized the importance of prioritizing home gardening to boost household food security, nutrition, and prevent famine.

“As the Ghanaian population grows, there is the need to continuously increase food production and buffer stocks to meet the growing demand and cope with the volatilities in food production and prices,” he said.

He indicated that home gardens complement the second phase of the government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs programme and offer families access to fresh, nutritious produce, reducing dependence on costly and less healthy processed foods.

The Acting Now programme

The Home Gardening Initiative is implemented as part of the Acting Now programme funded by the Government of the Netherlands.

The programme seeks to contribute to food system resilience, by supporting producers to build more resilient farms and food systems that are prepared for future climate change impact or economic vulnerabilities and reduce their dependence.

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