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The Primacy of Politics in Public Food Security Policies: The Case of Home Gardens

Manrrubio Muñoz-Rodríguez (), Claudia Fernández-González (), Norman Aguilar-Gallegos () and María Virginia González-Santiago ()
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Manrrubio Muñoz-Rodríguez: Centro de Investigaciones Económicas, Sociales y Tecnológicas de la Agroindustria y la Agricultura Mundial (CIESTAAM), Universidad Autónoma Chapingo (UACh), Carretera México–Texcoco km. 38.5, Chapingo, Texcoco 56230, Estado de México C.P., Mexico
Claudia Fernández-González: Departamento de Agroecología, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo (UACh), Carretera México–Texcoco km. 38.5, Chapingo, Texcoco 56230, Estado de México C.P., Mexico
Norman Aguilar-Gallegos: Centro de Investigaciones Económicas, Sociales y Tecnológicas de la Agroindustria y la Agricultura Mundial (CIESTAAM), Universidad Autónoma Chapingo (UACh), Carretera México–Texcoco km. 38.5, Chapingo, Texcoco 56230, Estado de México C.P., Mexico
María Virginia González-Santiago: Departamento de Agroecología, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo (UACh), Carretera México–Texcoco km. 38.5, Chapingo, Texcoco 56230, Estado de México C.P., Mexico

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 10, 1-21

Abstract: Home gardens are often conceived as a panacea to contribute to the problem of food insecurity in poor rural and urban households. However, systematic reviews indicate weak evidence of significant impacts on families. This way, there has been an intense discussion about their effectiveness. This research aims to generate knowledge about the relevance of assuming food production in home gardens as an alternative to the home consumption. Two questions drive this paper: what number of home gardens, supported by three different government programs, persists? Moreover, what factors explain their permanence? Our sample constituted 261 beneficiaries, and the collection of data was through face-to-face field surveys and in situ visits to the vegetable garden granted. We show that less than 7.5% of gardens remain in right conditions after two years of establishment. The pleasure and need to produce, family involvement, urban/rural location, and the technology provided are determining factors for permanence. The results support the argument that the high rate of home gardens that fail is related to the primacy of politics in considering the problem of food security as a “lack of assets” to produce. Thus, this suggests that there is a weak link between the problem, policies, and the politics.

Keywords: home gardens; food security; public policies; poverty; households; Mexico; urban agriculture; politics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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