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Container gardening to combat micronutrients deficiencies in mothers and young children during dry/lean season in northern Ghana

Kubuga, Clement Kubreziga, Dillon, Andrew, Song, Won
Journal of hunger & environmental nutrition 2019 v.14 no.6 pp. 850-863
Hibiscus sabdariffa, cabbage, cash crops, children, container gardening, containers, dietary nutrient sources, dry season, farmers, food production, food security, households, iodine, iron, mother-child relationships, mothers, production technology, women, Ghana
Food insecurity is prevalent in northern Ghana, where dry season stretches for 7–8 months (Oct-May) a year and the majority of inhabitants are subsistence farmers. We aimed to address inadequate dietary sources of iron and iodine in the dry/lean season by mother-child dyads by developing unconventional food production systems. Women group with 6–24-month-old children (n = 58) in two communities farmed 40 wooden containers for growing indigenous iron-rich (19.30 mg/100 g) Hibiscus sabdariffa for consumption and 15 containers for cash crop cabbage. Hibiscus sabdariffa produced from two harvest cycles/dry season and cash crops were adequate for three weekly community meals that improved iron and iodine status of the participating mother-child dyads. Future research is needed to expand the project to involve all households in the communities.