Terrace gardening wins urban farmers' heart

Terrace gardening wins urban farmers' heart

The terrace gardening and kitchen gardening motivation programme which was started under Rashtriya Krishi Vikasa Yojane (RKVY) 2013-14, with an objective of maintaining greenery by growing fruits and vegetables, using bio-digester, has succeeded in attracting large number of urban farmers in Mangalore.

In Mangalore City Corporation limits, the Horticulture department had started the programme in October, 2013. As a part of it, demonstrations were conducted on terrace gardening and kitchen gardening in various parts of the city. Later, two Farm Facilitators of the department selected interested people from different areas for further training, including anganwadi workers, women’s club members and people from Dalit colonies.

50 kits left out of 1,500

The total beneficiaries were divided into eight clusters, wherein each cluster consists of 70 to 80 people. The department experts started conducting a one-day training camp which included theory as well as practical sessions. Basic information was provided at the beginning and interested persons could get additional information through e-mail or telephone. The Farm Facilitators have the responsibility of supervision.

As per the programme, a kit consisting of one pack of seeds, one shovel and three kgs of bio-mix will be distributed to each beneficiary. It is worth 50 per cent of unit cost and costs Rs 250. For Mangalore city, there is a provision to distribute a total of 1,500 kits. According to the department sources, around 1,450 people have been trained already and given with the kits.

Maximum number of kits were distributed at Kadri region -more than 794 kits, followed by 65 in Shanti Church, 50 in Jappinamogaru, 48 in Kavoor, 41 in Bejai, 39 in Mahila Mandala Kulai, 35 in Kalvevarguli, 28 in Koraga community Hall, 21 in Prajna Counselling Centre and 20 in Kudkorigudda. About 60 kits were distributed during Indian Oasis Bank sponsored programme on urban horticulture.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Mangalore Horticulture Department Subject Matter Specialist Naseeba K said that the programme has received overwhelming response. Many are visiting the office expecting more information and the department is receiving a lot of calls and mails from those who want to start gardening. “Though there are just 50 kits left, we are planning to continue with the training according to the demand,” she added.

Naseeba said that waste and water management are main objectives of the programme. Efficient usage of plant waste or kitchen waste can be used effectively in terrace or kitchen gardening to grow fruits and vegetables. Urban people are more curious about these possibilities and finding their own methods to achieve this.

Rajkumar Wariar from Hosabettu, one of the ‘model agriculturists’ chosen under the programme has created wonder in his 1.5 cents of land using his own ideas, with the support of the government. “Agriculture is my hobby and I get pleasure in it. I have grown enough chemical-free vegetables to gift it to others. Now a days, a lot of people visit my garden and I had to fix time.

They are curious to know the methods and want to implement them in their garden,” he told Deccan Herald.

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