Impact assessment of the Siyazondla Homestead Food Production Programme in improving household food security of selected households in the Amathole District, Eastern Cape.
Kubheka, Bongekile Precious.
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This study assessed the impact of a homestead food production programme (Siyazondla) in improving household food security by comparing the incomes; food consumption frequencies and dietary diversity of selected beneficiaries against a control group of non-beneficiaries. The programme was introduced by the Provincial Government of the Eastern Cape to promote household food production due to high levels of poverty and malnutrition, especially in rural areas of the province. The Department of Agriculture supplied households with farming inputs and technical support to ensure access to sufficient food for the most vulnerable communities. A list of programme participants was obtained from the coordinators and 41 participating and 25 non-participating households were selected using simple random sampling. Individual interviews and focus group discussions were conducted. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analysed using SPSS. The findings showed that the crop types produced in the homestead gardens of respondents included mainly spinach, cabbage, potatoes, beetroot and carrots. Programme beneficiaries grew significantly more vegetables than non-beneficiaries, improving the availability of diverse foods to the participating households and community. The frequency of vegetable consumption was used as a measure of access to food, which had increased significantly for almost all beneficiaries and their households. The generation of income was one of the expected outcomes of the Siyazondla programme. The majority of beneficiaries generated income from selling vegetables while non-beneficiaries did not generate any income from their gardens. Overall, the study indicated that the Siyazondla programme had potential to improve food security of households through increased vegetable consumption, dietary diversity and income to purchase other food items. It was recommended that such programme should form part of integrated developmental plans in order to achieve improved results.