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Impact evaluation of Programa Huertas en Centros Educativos, Montevideo (Uruguay)

This paper intends to verify the importance of teaching agroecology during primary school and its impact on children’s life. It does that studying of the impact of Programa Huertas en Centros Educativos (PHCE), an agroecological primary school gardening program in the city of Montevideo, Uruguay. PHCE outcomes’ data were collected in 20 schools of Montevideo through the use of a survey and a focus group.

While still being in its preliminary stage of analysis, data show that the program has an impact on children’s life. The effect on children’s diet can be appreciated as the exposition to PHCE increases. Nevertheless, figures clearly show that the presence of a home orchard makes a real difference in improving the diet diversity of the children. Few significant effects of the project were appreciable about knowledge and home replicability of practices learned at school. Finally, the qualitative analysis highlights that PHCE makes a school more attractive and interesting for the children and it contributes to widening their spectrum of capabilities, while it looks less common to reach similar levels for a non PHCE school. It also underlines that the orchard is one of the favorite places inside the school for many of the children that have access to it. However, further analysis should be conducted in order to verify the possible presence of a sampling bias.

by Federico Roscioli, Daniele Malerba, Francesco Burchi

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