Kitchen Garden is one of the best activities of PLHA

People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) require an additional 20-30% of nutrition food for their healthy living. Many of these PLWHA will be unable to afford this due to health, socio-economic and livelihood deprivations. Due to this cause most of the PLHA are suffering from the Opportunistic infections and sick. It is decreasing the confidence levels of PLHA and thereby increased the death rate in People Living with HIV/AIDS.

VMM is a voluntary organization working in HIV/AIDS sector has introduced the kitchen garden intervention to HIV affected families in order to reduce incidence of Opportunistic Infections, malnutrition, to increase their lifespan and improve their livelihoods. June to February during the monsoon is the right season for the kitchen garden in Andhra Pradesh, India. An additional water facility will be used to ensure that these kitchen gardens are operating the whole year. It needs less money, manpower, technical skills for PLWHA to cultivate. It requires small open place at houses or near to houses. Few of the families were to the place for small lease and doing the kitchen garden in their own villages. VMM has mobilized by providing vegetable and fruit seeds to affected families during the monsoon. All the family members were supported each other and taking the good food and earning the money.

A few families are cultivating it as an income generating activity, earning INR 1500 - 1800 per month. These families are sharing their produce with each other. It has reduced food insecurity, malnutrition and reduced incidence of opportunistic infections. In addition it has increased self confidence, the lifespan and their participation of PLWHA in HIV programmes.

Challenges: Need community sensitization to reduce stigma and discrimination, because community is not supporting the families at the time of cultivation as well as selling. Marketing facilities is very less for the production because of their health problems they are not ready to go out for marketing and family member’s involvement to be increased.

With Regards

Abraham Mutluri
Programme Officer
VMM - India
91+ 98667 15601

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Comment by Abraham Mutluri on April 13, 2009 at 12:29pm
Dear Laurence

Good Morning

At first I am very sorry for the late reply because I went as a resource person to ICTC counselors at Hyderabad.

I am very much thankful with your blog that was helping me to re-think about the kitchen garden. In this area, place is not a problem to people living with HIV/AIDS for implement the kitchen garden. So they are implementing the activity.

We are doing the same in Urban also. Some times place is also problem to the people. We had been faced same problems in few cases. They are operating the kitchen garden on the top of the houses. Some times, some families I am also agree, it is difficulty in the slums because they do not have the more place for the cultivation.
In some situations they are working as watch men for the coconut trees, up higher crops, industries and taking the permission from the management and utilizing the waste land for the kitchen garden.

Some cases they are taking the land for lease. It is very small amount. Organization is also supporting to that families under the income generation activity.

Need to increase the family member’s involvement because when the PLHA get sick they family members look after that kitchen garden.

Reducing the stigma by community sensitization should be an activity to be designed along with IGA (Income generation activity), in order to get community support for the IGA.

Need to develop the linkages with the seeds vending shops and vegetable venders’ s for the sustainable approach..

Thank you Laurance. if any Grammatical mistakes pleae excuse me.

With Regards

Abraham Mutluri
Andhra Pradesh, India.
Comment by Laurence Gilliot on April 8, 2009 at 8:19am
Hi Abraham,

So, the kitchen garden is an activity of PLHIV, who cultivate food in their own garden to add to their own food, right? This is a great initiative of self-help. I've been thinking a lot about how we can stimulate people in cities for instance to go back to the nature, to grow their own food, to re-value the land that they or ancestors left to go and live in the cities, often in slums...

What is the main lesson we can learn from this experience? Is it in terms of mobilizing our own resources (practice 10 of the self-assessment)?

Laurence

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