Gendered motivation for home gardening and maintenance of agrobiodiversity: a case study in Benin, west Africa
Home gardening is a commonly encountered agricultural practice in Benin, consisting of cultivating or maintaining desired plant around homesteads. While the multiple ecosystem services they provided to population is widely acknowledged, motivation for home gardening is still poorly understood in Benin. This study aims at elucidating the daunting question of motivation for home gardening in Benin focusing on gender and how this motivation affects the capacity of home gardens to maintain agro-biodiversity. 360 households with home gardens participated to the study through interview and garden inventories. Clustering analysis, correlation and regressions were used to distinguish and discriminate home gardens with regard to their driven motivation, explore the discrepancies across gender and assess the relationship between plant species diversity and motivation of gardeners. Findings showed that food and medicinal plant production were the main motivations of home gardens in Benin. Food production was the main motivation of women while men were mostly motivated for medicinal plant production. Home gardeners mostly men were also found to have multiple motivations for gardening. Home gardens with medicinal, both medicinal and food and with multiple motivations were found to have higher plant species richness. This study suggests that the motivation of home gardeners is a key driver of the maintenance of agrobiodiversity in home gardens.
Keywords: Home gardens ; Motivation ; Agro-biodiversity ; Conservation, Benin