Interactive effects of HIV/AIDS and household headship determine home garden diversity in the Eastern Region of Ghana

S. Akrofi, P.C. Struik, L.L. Price

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Home gardens are important for enhancing food and nutritional security for HIV/AIDS-afflicted rural households through dietary diversity. Female-headed households may depend on home gardens more than average households to supply and supplement the household's diet when tabour is constrained for Field cropping. This paper compares household characteristics, dietary diversity, tabour allocated to crop husbandry and home gat-den biodiversity amongst 22 HIV/AIDS-afflicted female-headed households, 15 non-HIV/AIDS-afflicted female-headed, To HIV/AIDS-afflicted dual-headed and 33 non-HIV/AIDS-afflicted dual-headed households in rural communities in the Eastern Region of Ghana. information on household characteristics and tabour allocation to home garden management was obtained through a cross-sectional survey and in-depth interviews. Dietary diversity score was estimated for each household based on a 24-hour qualitative dietary recall. Plant species in each home garden were recorded. HIV/AIDS affliction did not affect home garden diversity but afflicted households had more on-farm sources of income and a higher dietary diversity and allocated more adult tabour to home garden activities than non-afflicted households. Dual-headed households had more diversity in the home garden and allocated more adult male tabour to the home garden than female-headed households. Statistically significant interactions between HIV/AIDS affliction and headship were observed for Shannon-Wiener index, number of crop species, number of annual crop species and number of root and tuber crop species in the home gardens: there were no headship effects when households were afflicted whereas dual-headed households had higher values than female-headed households in non-afflicted households. HIV/AIDS-afflicted households had significantly more annual crop species and more root and tuber crop species than non-afflicted households for female-headed households, whereas there were no significant differences for dual-headed households. Faced with confinement to the homestead in caregiving and by the obligation to ensure household food and nutritional security, HIV/AIDS-afflicted households spent more (female) tabour on home garden management than non-afflicted households to produce crops for sustenance and dietary diversity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-217
JournalNJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • tanzania

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