PR - CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF HOMESTEAD FOOD GARDEN IN SOUTH AFRICA: A CASE OF PUMPKIN PRODUCTION
Pumpkin is a source of protein and fat and is a product of homestead gardens. The homestead food garden programme was established in 1997 as one of the projects identified by the government of South Africa to alleviate hunger, malnutrition, and food insecurity in vulnerable households. The objective of this study was to identify the challenges and opportunities of establishing pumpkin production within the homestead food garden programme of Gauteng Province, South Africa. The study used a structured questionnaire to collect primary data from 500 pumpkin producing households. Respondents included participants and non-participants in the food garden programme. The results showed that respondents participating in the food garden programme had a lower educational status than non-participants. High water costs, water shortages, lack of agricultural land and inadequate production inputs were identified as the main challenges for establishing adequate homestead pumpkin production. It is recommended that programme implementers and policy makers should encourage more women to participate in the programme, to factors that hindered the establishment of homestead food gardens. The provision of additional extension service could assist these challenges.
Keywords: Challenges, Opportunities, Homestead food garden programme, Pumpkin production