The socio economic impact of institutional childcare based drip irrigation gardens on the livelihoods: A case study of John Smale Children’s Home nutrition garden in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province

Zenzele Ndlovu, Canisius Mpala, Peling Sibanda


The study sought to evaluate the impact of institutional drip nutrition gardens in addressing nutrition and food
insecurity at childcare centres. A study was carried out at John Smale Children’s Home in Bulawayo. Various stakeholders involved in the implementation were interviewed. A survey was undertaken on all the children using a questionnaire. Data were
analysed using SPSS Version 16 and MS Excel.
The results showed that production has been intensified and diversified. The home used to grow three but now
grows at least seven vegetables per cycle with a 300% cropping intensity. The garden has ensured a diverse vegetable
mix that positively affected the nutritional status of the children. The home has developed market linkages with
vegetable suppliers. This has increased the food security and improved the home’s nutritional balance. There
was a high return to land and labour than dry land agriculture. The processing of vegetables ensured year-round
supply. Employment had been created for one gardener. The results showed that the generated income was used
for utility settlements, school levies, medical fees and purchasing of toiletries. Savings of up to $2 585.00 per year
was made by producing its own vegetables. Life skills have been imparted on the children. It is recommended that
a comprehensive study of all the other institutional gardens that benefitted from the nutrition garden programme
be carried out to find out the impact and come up with best practices and implementation models.


Institutional drip gardening, urban agriculture, socio economic impact.

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