Kottoor grama panchayat in Kozhikode district is slowly stepping towards self-sufficiency in nutritional food crop cultivation. Nutritional garden, an initiative of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra is expected to bring in drastic changes in the food habits of many families from Kottoor, an adopted village of KVK,Peruvannamuzhi.
A team of officials from KVK, a subsidiary of ICAR-IISR, has completed the distribution of vegetable seeds and training programme to 25 families in the panchayat. The KVK has also included three anganwadis in the panchayat under the scheme aiming to ensure nutrition supply to children, adolescents and pregnant women from the region.
“Nutrition gardens are sustainable models for food security” said Dr. Santhosh J Eapen, director of ICAR-IISR. “It is an affordable means to ensure healthy food and balanced nutrition in our rural ivelihoods,” he added.
The project under the Smart Nutrition Village scheme aims to ensure nutrition supply to all children. It is a year- long project where we supply the locally available and indigenous seeds to the families so that they can grow vegetables in their kitchen garden and ensure uninterrupted supply of vegetables for their household needs.
The KVK officials have completed many training programmes to the beneficiary families in vegetable cultivation, organic farming, vermi composting and other agriculture related topics. The project is underway in Muthukadu and Naduvannur grama panchayats also.
As the beneficiary families are offered vermi compost unit along with the seeds, they are able to generate fertilizers for their requirement from the kitchen waste. KVK is promoting integrated farming model for residents and many have started rearing poultry and goats along with vegetables.
Apart from seed supply and training, KVK also carry out a nutrition intake survey among the beneficiary families to review whether the nutrition garden is helping them to improve nutrition intake. It evaluates the food consumption time of children and adults and assesses the vegetable intake by the family members.
The new project is also helping the women to ensure income saving as they don’t have to spend money on vegetables. As per the project launched by the KVK, a group of selected beneficiaries will get yearlong support for setting up nutrition garden. The project will then be extended to another panchayat the next year.
Our support for a year can easily help the beneficiaries to continue the nutrition garden scheme in the coming years also, said an official with KVK