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Nurturing Nutrition: Nutri Garden Project in India

India, the world’s second-largest food producer, ranks second in terms of malnutrition. Another factor contributing to the high occurrence of low birth weight babies in India is the fact that more than half of women have anaemia. High rates of stunting, obesity, and death in children under the age of five, are closely correlated with an unbalanced diet and shortage of food.

Crop diversity decreased significantly in India due to the advent of mono-cropping brought about by the Green Revolution in the 1960s and the transition of agriculture to a market-based economy. Households began purchasing a variety of cereals, legumes, and vegetables from the market instead of growing them themselves as cash crops took precedence. The current level of vegetable production in India is 120 grammes per capita consumption per day, compared to a daily intake of 300 grammes, even though vegetables aid in the fight against malnutrition by providing necessary vitamins and minerals for child growth and general good health.

Over the past 40 years, the Indian government has made significant progress in addressing malnutrition and ensuring food security through the Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS), which includes a lunch programme, supplemental food for kids, pregnant women, and nursing mothers, and improvements to the Public Distribution System (PDS). The National Food Security Act of 2013 establishes government food security initiatives that ensure sufficient, high-quality food. Despite this, 195.9 million people go without food each day. Numerous strategies, like NutriGardens, need to be explored to address the problem of food security in the face of rising demand.

A Nutri garden is an advanced kitchen garden where vegetables are cultivated scientifically for food and money. The Agri Nutri Garden initiative installs organic vegetable gardens in people’s homes to increase access to nutrient-dense produce, teach people how to be self-sufficient in vegetables and promote a healthy society. The Nutri Garden project was inaugurated as part of ‘Potion Ma – 2021’ by Smriti Zubin Irani, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development at the All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA). The primary goal of introducing the idea of nutri-gardens was to motivate tribal women to grow nutritious food in their backyards.

The advantages of Nutri Gardens

  • It encourages secure and nutritious eating habits.
  • It delivers nourishing food that can alleviate children’s hidden hunger and micro- and macronutrient deficits.
  • It enables better utilisation of unused space.
  • Additionally, it guarantees a reasonable, consistent, and convenient supply of fresh vegetables, an essential component of nutrition.

There is evidence of better physical, mental, and social health, with long-term effects on well-being, according to a meta-analysis of 22 case studies of household/community gardens worldwide.


A study from rural Maharashtra found that nutrition gardens had a great chance of lowering the incidence of child malnutrition. Odisha’s rural farmers grow seasonal fruits and vegetables in their backyards, which has expanded the participation of women. More sales will result in a better financial status. Gujarat has created a successful backyard kitchen gardening method to support women farmers in leading a healthy, prosperous, and sustainable lifestyle.

According to the Prime Minister’s aim of strengthening the rural economy and his call for Atma Nirbhar Bharat, India is leading the way by establishing more than 78 acres of Agri Nutri Gardens to provide food and nutritional security in rural India. To construct and promote “Agri Nutri Gardens” in rural households, Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) observed “Agri Nutri Garden Week” from January 10 to January 17, 2022.

On January 13, 2022, DAY-NRLM  hosted a webinar as part of this initiative, in which more than 2000 women from 700 different places participated.  Five SRLMs, including those from Odisha, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir, shared their experience by presenting their best practices and highlighting their efforts to construct agri-nutritional gardens in the webinar.


The Nutri Garden project, which provided 1,000 farmers with vegetable seeds and fruit tree seedlings, was recently hailed as a success by the Lakshadweep administration, who noted that, as a result, the area now has access to a variety of fruits and vegetables.

The Agri Nutri Garden initiative’s primary target group is the particular state’s municipal government. Kudumbashree Mission assists in organising the programme. The Kudumbashree network will aid in the marketing and production of vegetables.

Since time immemorial, Nutri gardens have been a cornerstone of traditional farming systems, although their significance has diminished over time. By including a variety of colourful vegetables in one’s diet regularly, one can strengthen immunity and improve disease resistance. Many phytochemicals found in fresh fruits and vegetables also have anti-oxidant, anti-allergic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antiproliferative properties. Make time to maintain a good kitchen garden. Let’s help create a healthier generation by supporting initiatives like the Agri-Nutri Garden Programme.