Farming Project fails to take root
By Amritha K R | ENS | Published: 11th December 2012 10:19 AM |
The District Horticulture Mission is likely to drop its plan to procure and sell organic vegetables produced through its Peri-Urban Terrace Vegetable Farming Project.
The project, introduced in May this year, was envisaged aiming to promote vegetable farming on terraces in urban and suburban households.
Project officers told City Express that the production of individual varieties of vegetables at household-level was not large enough to encourage procurement and distribution of vegetables in the market.
“Under the project, each household was given 20 or 25 bags of seedlings. The entire kit was designed in such a way that the beneficiary can cultivate four to five varieties of vegetables with this. As of now, the production of individual varieties of vegetables is too low and can meet only the household requirements. Hence, there is hardly any excess vegetables that can be procured and sold,” said District Agri-Horticulture Society secretary D Radhakrishnan.
In areas like Thiruvankulam where an open organic market was started keeping in mind the procurement from terrace farming, the project had to be dropped due to unavailability of vegetables. The authorities here now source vegetables from other organic vegetable producers.
Another issue highlighted is that under the project, a single beneficiary is not given more than 25 UV sterilised bags to grow the vegetables. In Thiruvanathapuram, where the scheme was implemented earlier on a pilot basis, the procurement was more successful.
“This was because in Thiruvanathapuram the production was done by the residential bodies concerned on a large scale. While, here though the bags are given through the residential associations, it is the individuals who are the beneficiaries,” he said. The society had earlier planned to have an Onam feast with the organic vegetables. It was also decided to start full-fledged procurement after October by when the harvest period would come to an end. The plan was to procure the vegetables and provide the new batch of seedlings through vehicles allocated to specified locations.
Meanwhile, the Agri-horticultural Society has now restarted to provide 25 bags at Rs 500 per bag. The distribution was suspended for about 40 days following a delay in the funds and the restructuring of the scheme.