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Keyhole Garden [Bangladesh]

PUSTI BAGAN ("Garden for nutrition")

technologies_779 - Bangladesh

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1. Información general

1.2 Detalles de contacto de las personas de referencia e instituciones involucradas en la evaluación y la documentación de la Tecnología

Persona(s) de referencia clave

WASH/DRR Advisor:
Especialista MST:

Varadi Daniel



Especialista MST:

Taylor Sheila

Send a Cow UK & Greendots

WASH Advisor:
Nombre del proyecto que financió la documentación/ evaluación de la Tecnología (si fuera relevante)
Book project: where people and their land are safer - A Compendium of Good Practices in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) (where people and their land are safer)
Nombre de la(s) institución(es) que facilitaron la documentación/ evaluación de la Tecnología (si fuera relevante)
Terre des Hommes (Terre des Hommes) - Suiza

1.3 Condiciones referidas al uso de datos documentados mediante WOCAT

¿Cuándo se compilaron los datos (en el campo)?


El compilador y la/s persona(s) de referencia claves aceptan las condiciones acerca del uso de los datos documentados mediante WOCAT:

1.4 Declaración de la sostenibilidad de la Tecnología descrita

¿La Tecnología aquí descrita resulta problemática en relación a la degradación de la tierra, de tal forma que no puede considerársela una tecnología sostenible para el manejo de la tierra?


1.5 Referencia al (los) Cuestionario(s) de Enfoques MST

Peer to Peer Pass-on Approach with Women

Peer to Peer Pass-on Approach with Women [Bangladesh]

Terre des hommes and Greendots introduced the Peer to Peer pass-on system to enable women's groups in Bangladesh to spread the Keyhole Garden technique within their communities with the aim of enabling year-round homestead vegetable production despite the risk of flooding and tidal surge.

  • Compilador: John Brogan

2. Descripción de la Tecnología MST

2.1 Breve descripción de la Tecnología

Definición de la Tecnología:

The Keyhole Garden model of homestead vegetable cultivation enhances the resilience of families living in areas with climate-related hazards, such as flooding and drought. Keyhole gardens have been shown to increase vegetable production in all seasons, thereby improving household food autonomy and dietary diversity.

2.2 Descripción detallada de la Tecnología


First initiated in Ugandan communities by Send a Cow UK, the keyhole garden technique is widespread in Africa. In 2011, Terre des hommes (Tdh) and Greendots piloted Keyhole Gardens for the first time in Asia, effectively adapting the design and methodology in Africa to the conditions of flood prone areas of Bangladesh, and eventually India. The garden is a good way to enhance dietary diversity, especially for poor/landless families.

Keyhole gardens consist of a raised circular garden made of clay, shaped like a horseshoe or keyhole, with a maximum diameter of approximately three meters. For flood prone areas in Bangladesh and India, the plinth height depends on the location and is typically the same as the house plinth to resist flooding. A compost basket is built at the center of the garden. Organic matter (kitchen cuttings) and residual water are added on a regular basis through the compost pit. In some countries, bricks or stones are used to make the plinth.

The keyhole garden is a typical Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture (LEISA) approach that includes integrated composting, water retention, use of local materials, natural pest and disease control techniques, natural soil fertility measures, and proximity to the kitchen for both harvesting and care of the garden. In regions with mild conditions of flooding, tidal surge and drought, the garden increases the duration of gardening period during the year thus reducing the risk of disaster. In the aftermath of cyclone Mahasen, keyhole gardens demonstrated DRR utility: although many were partially damaged, none had to be rebuilt entirely. Where plants did not survive the storm, users were able to sow seeds immediately. On the other hand, the traditional ground-level plots used for pit and heap gardening were completely flooded / waterlogged and unusable.

Benefits of the technology include: compact size, proximity to the household for convenient maintenance and harvesting, composting of kitchen cuttings in the basket; and an ergonomic structure (raised, accessible). The small size is also ideal to facilitate training on vegetable growing, soil fertility and pest & disease management to first-time gardeners and students in schools. Keyhole gardens are highly productive—in Lesotho a typical garden can satisfy vegetable needs for a family of eight persons (FAO, 2008). Combined, these factors are scalable as an appropriate technology for landless and marginal farmers. In Bangladesh, the gardens enabled families to produce vegetables even during the monsoon period. As the keyhole garden normally does not need to be rebuilt every year it is a more efficient technique in the long-term than traditional methods such as pit and heap.

Users say that their garden produce tends to be larger and tastier than conventional gardens or market produce; and many indicated that they were able to meet their own vegetable consumption needs and to sell surplus or gift vegetables. For some women it was difficult to access sufficient amounts of soil, which meant that they needed to walk long distances to build the plinth. (Fortunately many received support from other villagers.) Secondly, during the monsoon, while most of the land is flooded, the keyhole garden remains dry. Consequently, it may provide shelter to certain animals (e.g. rats) and attract higher number of pests. Regardless of these two limitations users agree that the benefits greatly
outweigh any observed limitations.

2.3 Fotografías de la Tecnología

2.4 Videos de la Tecnología

Comentarios, descripción breve:
The Keyhole garden was originally developed by African farmers to preserve their crops from the wind and the sand. Locally adapted in Bangladesh in Afzal’s vegetables garden with the help of Terre des hommes staff, the Keyhole garden can also protect the crops from the heavy monsoon rain and the salt water brought by flooding and storms. These literally destroy the crops. Widely adopted, it could help in preventing malnutrition by preserving the farmer's crops.

“Two days ago, my vegetable garden was wrecked by salt water and the monsoon rains”, says Afzal, who was the first person to test the new design proposed by Tdh and its technical partner Greendots. “The storm destroyed everything – except the keyhole garden, which is intact.”




Patharghata, Barguna District, Barisal Division, Bangladesh

Nombre del videógrafo:

Julien Lambert, Image of Dignity

2.5 País/ región/ lugares donde la Tecnología fue aplicada y que se hallan comprendidos por esta evaluación



Región/ Estado/ Provincia:

Kurigram District / Rajshahi and Barguna District / Barisal

Especifique más el lugar :

Kurigram municipality (Kurigram), Patharghata Union (Barguna)


Kurigram and Pataharghata, Bangladesh

2.6 Fecha de la implementación

Indique año de implementación:


2.7 Introducción de la Tecnología

Especifique cómo se introdujo la Tecnología:
  • mediante la innovación de usuarios de tierras
  • durante experimentos/ investigación
  • mediante proyectos/ intervenciones externas

3. Clasificación de la Tecnología MST

3.1 Propósito(s) principal(es) de la Tecnología MST

  • mejorar la producción
  • reducir el riesgo de desastres naturales
  • adaptarse al cambio climático/ extremos climáticos y sus impactos
  • mitigar cambio climático y sus impactos

3.2 Tipo(s) actuales de uso de la tierra donde se aplica la Tecnología

Tierras cultivadas

Tierras cultivadas

  • Homestead Gardening
Cosechas principales (comerciales y de subsistencia):

Winter Season: red amaranth, spinach, green chilli, tomato, eggplant, carrot, radish, onion, garlic, country bean, pumpkin, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli.

Summer & Rainy Seasons: red amaranth, green amaranth, Indian spinach, Chinese watercress, green chili, okra, eggplant, yard long bean, bitter gourd, ash gourd, cucumber, pumpkin

3.3 Información adicional sobre el uso de tierras

Provisión de agua para la tierra donde se aplica la Tecnología:
  • mixta de secano – irrigada
Número de temporadas de cultivo por año:
  • 3

In Bangladesh the gardens produced in all seasons, with most challenges coming in the dry season due to soil salinity in some areas.

3.4 Grupo MST al que pertenece la Tecnología

  • manejo integrado de la fertilidad del suelo
  • manejo integrado de pestes y enfermedades (incl. agricultura orgánica)
  • jardines domésticos

3.5 Difusión de la Tecnología

Especifique la difusión de la Tecnología:
  • aplicada en puntos específicos/ concentrada en un área pequeña

Applied in homesteads.

3.6 Medidas MST que componen la Tecnología

medidas agronómicas

medidas agronómicas

  • A1: vegetación/ cubierta del suelo
  • A2: materia orgánica/ fertilidad del suelo
medidas estructurales

medidas estructurales

  • S11: Otros

3.7 Principales tipos de degradación del suelo encarados con la Tecnología

erosión de suelos por agua

erosión de suelos por agua

  • Wt: pérdida de capa arable/ erosión de la superficie

3.8 Prevención, reducción o restauración de la degradación del suelo

Especifique la meta de la Tecnología con relación a la degradación de la tierra:
  • prevenir la degradación del suelo
  • reducir la degradación del suelo

See details in section 2.2

4. Especificaciones técnicas, actividades de implementación, insumos y costos

4.1 Dibujo técnico de la Tecnología


Sam Rich:




Sam Rich:




BBC Media Action Bangladesh



4.2 Especificaciones técnicas/ explicaciones del dibujo técnico

Gardens should be built in close vicinity to the beneficiary’s house, because gardens that are easily accessible and clearly visible are visited more regularly and maintained better.

The design is highly adaptable to local conditions and availability of free construction materials. The radius of the garden is 150CM and the delineated radius of the circular compost basket (in the center of the garden) is 45cm. The diagrams show (1) the location is near to house as an entry point for maintaining the garden; (2) the plinth is built to the same level of the house and a step is included where the plinth is high; (3) mulching to conserve the moisture; (4) interplanting a diversity of vegetables for both good vegetable health and good family nutrition; (5) using interplanted natural repellent plants as pest control for vegetables; (6) covering the basket during times of high sun intensity or heavy rain; (7) using liquid manures and plant teas as top dressing fertilisers.

Establishing what is the best height for your plinth very much depends on the local climatological conditions. In Bangladesh, the plinth is built from subsurface clayey soil, typically 2-3 feet in height - dependent on the location and level of seasonal flooding. The house plinth is a good gauge for how high to build the garden plinth. If the plinth is built too high, the roots of the plant will not be able to access sufficient water; and if built too low the next flood during the monsoon season may destroy the garden. Depending on dryness or soil/groundwater salinity, daily maintenance usually includes irrigating the soil. The outer rim of the plinth is protected with mud (and plastic or cloth) or stones. On top of the plinth is a mixture of soil and compost/manure (ratio 2:1) sloped up to the basket at a 30 - 40 degree angle. The central compost basket is filled with layers of fresh and dried vegetable matter, manure and ash to ensure that the soil fertility of the garden.

Women devised a number of different solutions to protecting the wall of the plinth and garden: Plastic bags, a combination of rice sacks (around the plinth edge) and plastic entrance way because of wear and tear (rice sacks erode faster), palm matting and old cloth. Some women put extra manure in the plinth walls to protect against flooding.

Sam Rich ( has produced other technical drawings in addition to "How to Make Liquid Manure" such as: "How to make a Natural Pesticide" and "How to Make Plant Tea". There is also a version of the "How to Make a Keyhole Garden" in English from the experience in Africa.

4.3 Información general sobre el cálculo de insumos y costos

Especifique cómo se calcularon los costos e insumos:
  • por unidad de Tecnología
Especifique unidad:

Keyhole Garden

Especifique la moneda usada para calcular costos:
  • dólares americanos
Indique el costo promedio del salario de trabajo contratado por día:


4.4 Actividades de establecimiento

Actividad Tipo de medida Momento
1. Clear land; mark out basket and external boundary using rope and stick pivoted from the centre) Estructurales Anytime
2. Build plinth (highest monsoon flood level+30cm); Estructurales Anytime
3. Construct basket at the centre from local materials. Fill basket with composting materials; Estructurales Anytime
4. Bring soil and heap it around the central basket. Any available animal dung can also be added into the soil mix for greater initial productivity. Estructurales Anytime
5. Plant vegetable seeds around the garden - a mix for good family nutrition and to stop the spread of pests and diseases; Agronómicas According to the seasonal varieties
6. Mulch between plants to protect the soil. Agronómicas Anytime
7. Protect the walls with rice sacks or other waterproof protection if neccessary. Estructurales Anytime

4.5 Costos e insumos necesarios para el establecimiento

Especifique insumo Unidad Cantidad Costos por unidad Costos totales por insumo % de los costos cubiertos por los usuarios de las tierras
Mano de obra Building the garden person-days 3,0 2,5 7,5 100,0
Material de construcción clay 20,0
Costos totales para establecer la Tecnología 7,5

Firstly, building the garden requires an initial investment in terms of labour and (locally available) inputs, such as soil and wood and clayey soil for the plinth (stones and bricks are frequently used for the plinth in Africa). These inputs are available on the homestead or in the community and generally free of cost. In rare cases families paid to have soil carted to their homestead, thus increasing the initial structural costs.

4.6 Actividades de establecimiento/ recurrentes

Actividad Tipo de medida Momento/ frequencia
1. Weeding, harvesting, watering Manejo Daily
2. Structural maintenance on the garden Estructurales Annual

4.7 Costos e insumos necesarios para actividades de mantenimiento/ recurrentes (por año)

Especifique insumo Unidad Cantidad Costos por unidad Costos totales por insumo % de los costos cubiertos por los usuarios de las tierras
Mano de obra Maintenance person-days 11,0 2,5 27,5 100,0
Mano de obra Structural maintenance on the garden person-days 1,0 2,5 2,5 100,0
Material de construcción Earth Clay -depends on height: ex .4m plinth) cubic meter 11,0
Material de construcción Manure (quantity depends on design) cubic meter 2,0
Material de construcción Basket (sticks/bamboo with thin sticks to weave the basket Sticks 15,0
Material de construcción Protective material, rice bags/stones/plastic Square meter 18,0
Indique los costos totales para mantenecer la Tecnología 30,0

In Bangladesh, women referred to the time spent working on the keyhole garden as “leisure time” and that they do this work after they have completed their domestic chores. Women estimated 45 minutes daily of such activity to maintain the garden. Calling it "leisure time" is misleading, but it suggests that most women generally enjoy working in the garden and do not regard it as heavy labour. The daily wage of an agricultural labourer differs per region. In Tdh's project area, wages are relatively low, especially for women. While male labourers may earn 200 BDT ($2.50) per day, women usually earn only 90 to 150 BDT. For the calculation, we applied the principle of equal pay for equal work, taking 200BDT per day.

4.8 Factores más determinantes que afectan los costos:

Describa los factores más determinantes que afectan los costos:

Over the last few years, people in disaster-affecteed areas of Bangladesh have become familiar to receiving during humanitarian distributions; and expect “hand-outs” if they were to participate in a development project. The Keyhole garden project, however, follows the LEISA approach and does not rely on giving free inputs to the participants. (In a few cases where the local population was lacking seeds and experience in seed production, women's groups were given seeds and training.) A lack of reliance on external inputs or subsidies contributes to the sustainability of the project. The inputs (clay, manure, sticks, rocks, etc.) are locally available and usually do not require additional expenses. This may not be the case in all contexts.

5. Entorno natural y humano

5.1 Clima

Lluvia anual
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Especifique el promedio anual de lluvia (si lo conoce), en mm:


Especificaciones/ comentarios sobre la cantidad de lluvia:

Applied in areas with monsoon and drought like conditions in the project areas in Bangladesh.

Indique el nombre de la estación metereológica de referencia considerada:

Zona agroclimática
  • húmeda
  • Sub-húmeda
  • semi-árida

The technology is adapted to semi-arid areas/countries in Africa like Uganda and Tanzania.

5.2 Topografía

Pendientes en promedio:
  • plana (0-2 %)
  • ligera (3-5%)
  • moderada (6-10%)
  • ondulada (11-15%)
  • accidentada (16-30%)
  • empinada (31-60%)
  • muy empinada (>60%)
Formaciones telúricas:
  • meseta/ planicies
  • cordilleras
  • laderas montañosas
  • laderas de cerro
  • pies de monte
  • fondo del valle
Zona altitudinal:
  • 0-100 m s.n.m.
  • 101-500 m s.n.m.
  • 501-1,000 m s.n.m
  • 1,001-1,500 m s.n.m
  • 1,501-2,000 m s.n.m
  • 2,001-2,500 m s.n.m
  • 2,501-3,000 m s.n.m
  • 3,001-4,000 m s.n.m
  • > 4,000 m s.n.m
Indique si la Tecnología se aplica específicamente en:
  • no relevante

5.3 Suelos

Profundidad promedio del suelo:
  • muy superficial (0-20 cm)
  • superficial (21-50 cm)
  • moderadamente profunda (51-80 cm)
  • profunda (81-120 cm)
  • muy profunda (>120 cm)
Textura del suelo (capa arable):
  • fina/ pesada (arcilla)
Textura del suelo (> 20 cm debajo de la superficie):
  • fina/ pesada (arcilla)
Materia orgánica de capa arable:
  • media (1-3%)

5.4 Disponibilidad y calidad de agua

Agua subterránea:

< 5 m

Disponibilidad de aguas superficiales:


Calidad de agua (sin tratar):

agua potable de mala calidad (requiere tratamiento)

¿La salinidad del agua es un problema?


In project sites along the Bay of Bengal

¿Se está llevando a cabo la inundación del área? :



5.5 Biodiversidad

Diversidad de especies:
  • baja
Diversidad de hábitats:
  • mediana

5.6 Las características de los usuarios de la tierra que aplican la Tecnología

Sedentario o nómada:
  • Sedentario
Orientación del mercado del sistema de producción:
  • subsistencia (autoprovisionamiento)
  • mixta (subsistencia/ comercial)
Ingresos no agrarios:
  • menos del 10% de todos los ingresos
  • 10-50% de todo el ingreso
Nivel relativo de riqueza:
  • muy pobre
  • pobre
Individuos o grupos:
  • individual/ doméstico
Nivel de mecanización:
  • trabajo manual
  • tracción animal
  • mujeres
  • hombres
Edad de los usuarios de la tierra:
  • personas de mediana edad
Indique otras características relevantes de los usuarios de las tierras:

Using a methodology called the problem tree analysis it is understood that the people living in the two working areas regularly experience health-related problems, economic challenges, and agricultural difficulties.

5.7 Área promedio de la tierra que pertenece a o es arrendada por usuarios de tierra que aplican la Tecnología

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
¿Esto se considera de pequeña, mediana o gran escala (refiriéndose al contexto local)?
  • pequeña escala

The majority of the project beneficiaries are "landless" having access to small homestead areas and without cropland. Most households have access to small (< 16 decimal) or very small (< 6 decimal) homestead areas.

5.8 Tenencia de tierra, uso de tierra y derechos de uso de agua

Tenencia de tierra:
  • individual, sin título
Derechos de uso de tierra:
  • individual
Derechos de uso de agua:
  • acceso abierto (no organizado)

5.9 Acceso a servicios e infraestructura

  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
asistencia técnica:
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
empleo (ej. fuera de la granja):
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
caminos y transporte:
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
agua potable y saneamiento:
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
servicios financieros:
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno

6. Impactos y comentarios para concluir

6.1 Impactos in situ demostrados por la Tecnología

Impactos socioeconómicos


producción de cultivo

Cantidad antes de MST:

<5% of pilot families growing vegetables in all 3 seasons

Cantidad luego de MST:

50% of the pilot families able to grow vegetables in 3 seasons

Comentarios/ especifique:

Before the project started, the majority of the participants were not able to produce vegetables year round. Especially during the monsoon months, people were dependent on produce available at the local market. The baseline survey indicated that in both regions more than 50% of the households would cultivate vegetables for a maximum of 3 months per year and in Kurigram 30% of the participants were not able to grow vegetables at all.
This situation has changed significantly after the introduction of the keyhole gardens. At least 50% of the households were able to produce vegetables during each season. Where in the past almost no one was able to cultivate during the monsoon period, now on average 63% of the households in Kurigram and 73% of the households in Patharghata were growing vegetables in the wet season.
The summer figures are actually lower than the monsoon figures. Seeds did not germinate well, because participants were not fully prepared to deal with the dry and saline conditions during this season. Learning from this experience, and with adequate support from Tdh, participants should be able to achieve higher cultivation rates in the future.

diversidad de producto

Cantidad antes de MST:

Average of 2-4 types of vegetables grown.

Cantidad luego de MST:

Average of six types of vegetables grown

Comentarios/ especifique:

During the field visits and individual interviews in June 2013, the majority of the participants indicated that in the keyhole garden they usually grow 6 or more different types of vegetables at any given time. This is a marked difference from previous years, when the majority of people in Patharghata would only grow 2 types of vegetables. In Kurigram the baseline was somewhat higher (31% cultivated 4 types of vegetables per year on average), but still significantly lower than in 2013. By increasing the different types of vegetables grown, the families have access to a more diversified diet.

área de producción

Cantidad antes de MST:


Cantidad luego de MST:


Comentarios/ especifique:

In addition to the 175 pilot keyhole gardens, an additional 158 gardens were started on homesteads either via peer to peer pass-along system or spontaneous copy/replication of the technology.

Impactos socioculturales

situación de salud

Comentarios/ especifique:

The Keyhole Garden supports a diversified diet by enabling year-round vegetable production; thus boosting the resilience of homesteads exposed to extreme weather patterns (drought or monsoon/flood seasons).

situación de grupos en desventaja social y económica

Comentarios/ especifique:

Gardens will quickly increase household vegetable production, easing economic burden and providing for the household consumption or surplus to sell or gift. The latter can increase social bonding and benefit peer to peer linkages.


Comentarios/ especifique:

Keyhole garden building and maintenance teaches lessons of good soil, water and vegetable management that can be transferred to field crops or plain large scale vegetable growing.

Impactos ecológicos


pérdida de suelo

Comentarios/ especifique:

Precious topsoil is not lost during flooding events.

Reducción de riesgos de desastres y riesgos climáticos

impactos de inundaciones

Comentarios/ especifique:

Gardens that are not submerged by floods continue to produce in the monsoon season.

Otros impactos ecológicos

Surpluses can be used for selling or gifting; increased vegetables especially at times when they are not usually available enables families to save money on expensive purchases out of the normal vegetable season

6.2 Impactos fuera del sitio demostrados por la Tecnología


Comentarios/ especifique:

Keyhole garden building and maintenance teaches lessons of good soil, water and vegetable management that can be transferred to field crops or plain large scale vegetable growing.

6.3 Exposición y sensibilidad de la Tecnología al cambio climático gradual y a extremos relacionados al clima/ desastres (desde la percepción de los usuarios de tierras)

Extremos (desastres) relacionados al clima

Desastres climatológicos:
¿Cómo es que la tecnología soporta esto?
tormenta tropical moderadamente
tormenta local bien
Desastres hidrológicos
¿Cómo es que la tecnología soporta esto?
inundación general (río) muy bien
marea tormentosa/ inundación costera bien

Otras consecuencias relacionadas al clima

Otras consecuencias relacionadas al clima
¿Cómo es que la tecnología soporta esto?
periodo reducido de crecimiento muy bien

6.4 Análisis costo-beneficio

¿Cómo se comparan los beneficios con los costos de establecimiento (desde la perspectiva de los usuarios de tierra)?
Ingresos a corto plazo:

muy positivo

¿Cómo se comparan los beneficios con los costos de mantenimiento/ recurrentes (desde la perspectiva de los usuarios de tierra)?
Ingresos a corto plazo:

muy positivo


No long term study available.
In most cases no (or very low) investment cost in materials and a low investment cost in labor was necessary. Thus the establishment and maintenance costs are relatively low compared to the benefit of increased homestead vegetable production and access to produce for increasing dietary diversity. The benefit increases when the technology supports resilience to flooding as was the case from flooding (Kurigram), and partially from a cyclone (Patharghata).

6.5 Adopción de la Tecnología

  • más de 50%
Si tiene la información disponible, cuantifique (número de hogares y/o área cubierta):

333 from the pilot study. Subsequent projects by Tdh from 2013-2015 have seen over 3'500 keyhole gardens created in Bangladesh and India.

De todos quienes adoptaron la Tecnología, ¿cuántos lo hicieron espontáneamente, es decir, sin recibir incentivos/ pagos materiales?
  • 90-100%

All of the adopters did so with training but without inputs. Spontaneous adoption of the Keyhole Garden without training is not easy to measure, but Tdh's experience shows a conservative average of 11% (38 of 333 gardens).

6.6 Adaptación

¿La tecnología fue modificada recientemente para adaptarse a las condiciones cambiantes?

Si fuera así, indique a qué condiciones cambiantes se adaptó:
  • cambios climáticos / extremos
Especifique la adaptación de la Tecnología (diseño, material/ especies, etc.):

The technology was adapted from semi-arid zones in Africa (where soil amelioration and water conservation were priorities and materials such as stones and brick are available) to areas of South Asia prone to flood and tidal surge.

6.7 Fuerzas/ ventajas/ oportunidades de la Tecnología

Fuerzas/ ventajas/ oportunidades desde la perspectiva del usuario de la tierra
Seasonal local agriculturalists reported that gardens yielded high productivity with good vegetable quality and diversity; withstood heavy monsoon rains lasting for several days; and withstood a salt water tidal intrusion that destroyed adjacent traditional gardens. During the FGDs women clearly expressed a lot of enthusiasm for the project and all the participants indicated that they would continue with their garden, even if Tdh would no longer provide any support. One volunteer reported successfully harvesting five common vegetables usually impossible to grow in monsoon conditions:
- In plain land we can cultivate once in a year but in keyhole garden we can harvest vegetables in three seasons and they don't go underwater in the rainy season
- Save money for the family: don't need to buy fertilizers or vegetables and some people earn money by selling the garden product
- We can collect vegetables for the children’s requirements directly from the garden when they need them
- In a small space you can have lots of different vegetables and the taste is much better because the garden depends on compost – no chemicals
- The cost to make is it very low, but you need labour; by our own labour we can build it
- Because of composting the garden can always get nutrients
Fuerzas/ ventajas/ oportunidades desde la perspectiva del compilador o de otra persona de referencia clave
The keyhole garden project has been very successful and has largely achieved its core objective to improve year-round access to nutritious food from the homestead area. These benefits are summarized again as:
- Appropriate size for landless homesteads, also ideal to facilitate training on LEISA techniques to first-time gardeners and students in schools.
- Proximity to the household for convenient maintenance and harvesting, composting of kitchen cuttings in the basket;
- Ergonomic structure (raised, accessible).
- Highly adaptable to local conditions that supports resilience to flood and drought conditions.
- Highly productive—families produced vegetables even during the monsoon period.
- As the keyhole garden normally does not need to be rebuilt every year it is a more efficient technique in the long-term than traditional methods such as pit and heap.

Therefore, the reviewer did not suggest any major changes to the technique or project; rather to focus on specific issues that could help making the project more efficient and that could help broaden its impact.

6.8 Debilidades/ desventajas/ riesgos de la Tecnología y formas de sobreponerse a ellos

Debilidades/ desventajas/ riesgos desde la perspectiva del usuario de la tierra ¿Cómo sobreponerse a ellas?
No major weaknesses in the technology or design were expressed. However for some women it was difficult to access sufficient amounts of soil, which meant that they needed to walk long distances to bring soil to build the plinth.
In coastal areas where saline intrusion in groundwater and soils is on the rise, growing and irrigating crops is difficult in the dry season.
Some women received support from other family members or neighbours; identify a support network for families having challenges to access soil to build the plinths.
Continue to look for for alternative irrigation sources and/or groundwater recharge innovations as well as soil conservation techniques to protect against salinity. Likewise, saline resistant vegetable varieties may be available.
Debilidades/ desventajas/ riesgos desde la perspectiva del compilador o de otra persona de referencia clave ¿Cómo sobreponerse a ellas?
More careful planning of the location for the keyhole garden is needed. In Patharghata 11 women decided to relocate their garden within the first year. This suggests that the women appreciate the benefits of the garden, but having to break down and move the garden is a rather laborious activity.
Not surprisingly, women who have less time to work in the homestead area, e.g. due to work or other out-of-home responsibilities, are not able to maintain their keyhole garden so well.
Spend more time to assist the participants with identifying the most suitable locations to construct the garden for a keyhole garden in the homestead area at the start of the project.
While maintaining a focus on women, involve the husband or other family members/ neighbours and ensure that they are also trained and ensure that the garden is clearly visible and can be accessed.

7. Referencias y vínculos

7.1 Métodos/ fuentes de información

  • visitas de campo, encuestas de campo

50: The project evaluation took place from 4 June to 12 June 2013 with field visits in the two project areas, Kurigram and Patharghata. In total 5 Focus Group Discussions (FGD), with approximately 10 participants per FGD, were organized during this period. The core objective of the FGDs was to assess whether keyhole gardens have contributed to increases in vegetable production throughout the year and if this has lead to improved consumption practices. The additional aim of the FGDs was to learn directly from the participants about their nutritional needs and their ideas to further improve the keyhole garden project.

  • entrevistas con usuarios de tierras

8: In addition to the FGDs the consultant carried out eight individual interviews with project
participants from the two regions. The individual interviews provided more detailed
information about production techniques and about the impact of the project at the
household level.

  • compilación de informes y otra documentación existente

Al-Amin S, 2012 and 2013, Tdh Bangladesh, Monthly Situation Reports for Garden Projects (unpublished)
Taylor S, 2013, Discussion paper for the Agrobiodiversity Conference, Dhaka, 28 January
2013, “Keyhole Gardens – great potential for improving homestead crop diversity and
mother & child nutrition”
Taylor S, 2012, Tdh Bangladesh, Project Report Homestead Garden for Greendots (unpublished)
Van Hout, 2013, Keyhole Gardens: Improved Access to Homestead Vegetables and Dietary Diversification, External Evaluation and Capitalization of the Keyhole Garden Project in Bangladesh (unpublished)
Varadi D, 2011, Tdh Bangladesh Field Visit Report for Greendots (unpublished)

7.2 Vínculos a las publicaciones disponibles

Título, autor, año, ISBN:

"Keyhole Gardens: Improved Access to Homestead Vegetables and Dietary Diversification- External Evaluation and Capitalization of the Keyhole Garden Project in Bangladesh", Van Hout, R., 2013

¿Dónde se halla disponible? ¿Costo?

Freely available: Terre des hommes Lausanne Asia Desk:

Título, autor, año, ISBN:

“Keyhole Gardens – great potential for improving homestead crop diversity and mother & child nutrition”, Taylor S, 2013, Discussion paper for the Agrobiodiversity Conference, Dhaka, 28 January 2013

¿Dónde se halla disponible? ¿Costo?

Freely available: Terre des hommes Lausanne Asia Desk:

Título, autor, año, ISBN:

"Keyhole Gardens in Lesotho", FAO Nutrition and Consumer Protection Divis"ion (AGN), 2008 (with Send a Cow UK)

¿Dónde se halla disponible? ¿Costo?

7.3 Vínculos a la información relevante disponible en línea

Título/ descripción:

Greendots - Terre des hommes technical partner for Keyhole Gardens in South Asia


Título/ descripción:

Send a Cow UK: How to make an African style raised bed (YouTube, ex. Uganda)


Título/ descripción:

Send a Cow UK - Keyhole Garden resources (Learning from Africa: How to make a Keyhole Garden)


Título/ descripción:

Fourthway's posters online: Smallholder organic agriculture (Uganda, including Keyhole gardens)


Título/ descripción:

Fourthway's posters online: Smallholder organic agriculture (Bangladesh, including Keyhole gardens)


Título/ descripción:

Terre des hommes: First Keyhole Garden in Asia (to resist storm surge/floods in Bangladesh)


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