Initiative Result:

Empowering villages in Bangladesh through homestead vegetable production

Bangladesh is a densely populated agricultural-based country with about 68% of people living in rural areas (BBS 2023). The communities own a small size of about 0.3 hectares of farms producing mainly rice, leading to malnutrition in many households. Farmers are implementing the homestead gardens, the multi-strata integrated production system that combines all farming components (tree, crop, livestock, and occasionally fish) to provide household food security and nutrition, employment, and income.

generation opportunities. This successful innovation was introduced through the CGIAR initiative of Mixed Farming Systems (MFS) led by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the national partner Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI).

At first, the MFS initiative established the homestead model named the ‘Sayedpur model’ in four villages to provide seed and technical support to 100 households and test the introduction of the improved interventions. Including the support to establish 100 ideal compost pits for the same households to ensure organic fertilizer for homestead vegetable production. With positive impacts and feedback from the farmers, these homestead models have been scaled up to over 4000 farmers within and neighboring villages, increasing the number of villages to 23.

The homestead gardens provide multiple products to the household and meet diversified needs including food, nutrition, and energy. Household members especially women use their homestead area for vegetable and fruit production by using homemade biofertilizers and biopesticides, which are safer than the vegetables purchased from the market.

The innovation is a holistic transformation that empowers women through homestead vegetable production. As these women engage in home gardening, they are not just tending to plants; they are taking on pivotal roles in the pursuit of sustainable intensification. They are joining forces in collective marketing actions, and in the process, they are enhancing household resilience.

“With the initiative’s support, now we grow different types of vegetables in our homesteads, which does not only meet my family’s vegetable demand but also adds to extra income from selling” explained Akhi Moni, a farmer from Khamergragram, Nilphamari

From the tested improved technologies, it shows that the average vegetable production has increased 3-4 times higher compared to the period before the intervention. Moreover, the intake of vegetables per head per day has also increased to 2-3 times higher compared to baseline data. Using improved technologies and judicious time management for vegetable production might enhance the remarkable increment of vegetable production in homestead areas (see the below chart).

Figure: A. Homestead vegetable production (kg per household) before and after implementation of the intervention; B. vegetable consumption, sale, and distribution before and after the intervention. Household numbers 100.

Dr. Humnath Bhandari, country lead of SI-MFS in Bangladesh visited the homestead activities in the Rangpur region, and he was highly impressed to see the activities he mentioned: “Year-round homestead vegetable production significantly contributed to enhanced women’s income and empowerment, improved food security, and better nutrition”.


1. BBS. (2023). Population and Housing Census 2022: National Report (Volume I). Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, 43. Retrieved from

Header image: A homestead vegetable garden in the Rangpur region. Photo by Kanai Lal/IRRI

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This result was made possible by our valued partners: Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI)