Indumathi Rajagopal, Jesús Axayácatl Cuevas Sánchez, Julio Baca del Moral, Diana Ayala Montejo, Teodoro Gómez Hernández, José Luis Romo Lozano


Background. Considering the current importance of recognizing the potential of traditional agroecosystems, including homegardens in the sustainable development of many rural and urban communities, strategists and scientists around the world are showing increasing interest in their study. Objective. Analyze the scientific literature relevant to the scope and constraints of homegardens (HGs), and to identify gaps and research perspectives, especially for indigenous communities in Mexico. Methodology. A total of 335 studies published in the last decades (1986-2020) were collected from different databases using predefined keywords. All publications were organized and stored in the Zotero (2018) program. The trends of all the publications were analyzed using NVivo 12 Plus software. Results. The number of publications increased from the year 2000. About 70% of the publications analyzed were research articles in english. Of the total studies examined 239 (71.35%) were conducted in different parts of the world, of which 30% from Asia and the remaining 96 (28.65%) from Mexico, primarily in tropics. Most of these studies focused on ecological (62.98%), economic (20.29%), cultural (13.43%), social (7.46%) and multifunctional features (12.23%) of HGs. The same pattern was identified in the case of Mexico, with studies of 10.74%, 5.07%, 5.67%, 0.597%, and 3.58% focused on ecological, economic, cultural, social and the multifunctionality features of HGs respectively. Implications. The analysis of the scope and limitations of HGs contributes to identifying the need to carry out transdisciplinary research that reflects their whole dynamics as agroecosystems, in which, in addition to the ecological environment, there are various cultural aspects considered important in the indigenous communities of Mexico. Conclusions. The publications emphasized the importance of homegardens to provide multiple ecosystem functions and services to enhance human well-being. However, future research should reevaluate HGs based on a holistic multi-functional agriculture approach to promote them as one of the strategies conducive to improve family well-being. Also, it is suggested to evaluate the degree of sustainability of HGs based on its resilience and adaptation capacity to confront current challenges.


agroforestry systems; biocultural heritage; livelihood strategy; multifunctional agriculture; traditional agroecosystems.

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