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Home Gardening in Bangladesh: Engaging Women in Agriculture

Posted On: March 28, 2024
Two women work in a a vegetable garden in the courtyard of a house.
The vegetable garden by home gardener Laiju Begum’s house in the Barisal division.

In the villages of Bangladesh, most women have a vegetable garden for family consumption. However, they often do not achieve a good yield from their efforts. It is hard to get healthy seedlings when using direct sowing techniques and poor-quality seeds. Without a good start, the plants struggle to thrive, and without proper care, the quality and quantity of the garden’s vegetables are low.

Successful home gardens are a source of daily nutrition for the family and save money compared to buying vegetables in the market. Home gardeners also have confidence in the safety of the vegetables they produce, since they are in control of the growing environment.

In Bangladesh, East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation’s home gardening training, which is a component of the Smart Farming, Healthy Food project, not only facilitates these results but enables women to gain the skills and knowledge to earn extra income from vegetable farming. Some home gardeners sell a portion of their produce, while others expand to become semi-commercial farmers.

Women involved in the home garden project pose with various farm inputs.
A few of the women participating in the home garden initiative.

In the home gardens established under this project, all of the arable land around the home is utilized. EWS-KT technical staff conduct four training sessions on improved gardening techniques, including seedling production using effective germination medium and quality seeds, land preparation, trellising, organic fertilizer, organic mulch, preparation and use of biopesticides, water management, and more. These training sessions teach the women practical skills for vegetable production and empower them to enter the agricultural sector. 

In 2023, 128 home gardens were established, providing essential nutrients for families and consumers. Home gardens are getting more popular day by day, and some women are converting their home gardens to farming demonstration plots with EWS-KT as they take their first steps toward semi-commercial vegetable production.  

One Woman’s Experience: Nupur Begum’s Story

Nupur Begum works in her home garden, with an Smart Farming, Healthy Food project banner in the foreground.
Nupur Begum works in her home garden.

After attending home garden training sessions under the Smart Farming, Healthy Food project, 32-year-old Nupur Begum became interested in growing her own vegetables at her home in the Barisal division, in southern Bangladesh. She talked to the Technical Field Officer holding the trainings and started to establish a home garden. 

Nupur learned from the training sessions how to grow safe-to-eat vegetables, utilizing the land around her house to supply her family with daily nutrition. She gained practical experience with seedling production, bed preparation, transplanting, plant spacing, organic mulching, organic fertilizer, and use of biopesticides. 

Her garden has been a great success. So far, her family has consumed 35% of the vegetables she has grown, and she has sold 65% in the local market, earning 4,000 taka from leafy greens (radish, coriander, and red spinach) and other vegetables (bottle gourd, tomato, cucumber, pumpkin, and yard long bean). Her crops are continuing to thrive, and she now plans to produce vegetables year-round. With her horticultural skills clear to see, Nupur and her husband are also planning to grow vegetables commercially in the future.