Assessment of home gardening practices and consumption method of selected leafy vegetables during the lockdown in Osun State, Nigeria
Home gardening not only contributes to agricultural production, it is also a relatively cheap source of vegetable for household consumption. Leaf vegetables supply micronutrients and antioxidants needed to complement starchy foods to make a balanced diet and protect against diseases associated with micronutrients deficiencies. However, the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic led many households to bear the consequences of the unavailability of fresh vegetables during the lockdown. The study evaluated the consumption method of selected leafy vegetables (amaranth, celosia and cochorus) prior and during the lockdown in Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria. During the lockdown, questionnaires were administered using google forms to 562 households in Olorunda Local Government. Data were collected on source of purchase of the selected leaf vegetables and rate of consumption, storage and processing methods, and shelf-life of the selected leafy vegetables. Data were analysed using descriptive analysis. Results showed that 50.6% households consumed amaranth, 49.8% (celosia) while 66.7% (cochorus) during lockdown period. Households purchased most leafy vegetables from open market (83%), while others got from their garden. Different storage and processing methods were adopted, 51.6% households used refrigerator, open-air (45.6%) while 31.5% processed vegetables into powder. The result further observed that 41% households had home garden. Therefore, to ensure adequate intake of green leafy vegetables, households should be encouraged to practice home gardening to boost their nutrition and contribute to the nutrition needs of others.