KOCHI: At a time when land has become one of the most critical inputs for economic development, the district administration in association with the Tourism and Agriculture departments have started ‘Samrudhi’, a project to reclaim unused residential plots in the city and convert them as arable land. This programme has been linked with the district administrations’ project — C power 5 (Change for Change Climate Change) that aims at promoting a sustainable lifestyle to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The Samrudhi project is the extension of C power 5’s Udhyanam project which aims to clean major dump sites in Thiruvananthapuram district and propagate the practice of sustainable waste management system and implementation of green protocol. The main activities in Udhyanam include segregating organic and inorganic waste, converting the organic waste to grow bags and later being transported to material recovery centres.
Samrudhi aims to convert the vacant spots and terraces of homes within the city limits into an arable land by implementing organic and terrace farming. Samrudhi is being sponsored by SFS homes at Rs 12 lakh.
“The ecosystem is affected permanently when we build a house. We generate around one kg of carbon footprints from one square feet area. And the only way to mitigate them is by growing plants. We want to drive the message home that growing plants is not a hobby but our responsibility,” said C N Manoj, CEO of C power 5. “Around 75 percent of vegetables and fruits in the state is being imported from other states of which most of are cultivated using pesticides. We wanted to instill passion towards organic farming which is why we decided to introduce the Samrudhi project.
The programmes included in the projects are - community development, farm tourism development programmes, awareness campaign in schools and colleges and organic food fests,” said Anandhu C S , intern of the District Collector Internship programme.The plots are handed over by the residents on an 11 month lease agreement. If they require it, the plot will be returned back to them within a notice period of three months. As per the agreement, the administration will share about 15-20 percent of the revenue which is received from cultivating the residents’ land.
The cultivated fresh vegetables will be given to the residents as per their preferance.“We have already received around 25 plots from residents for this project. After inspecting the feasibility of the sites we will select a convenient site and within 10 days the first phase of the project will be inaugurated. On field training programmes will be provided. Experts from agriculture department will provide training to the volunteers,” said Manoj. Residents association members took over the charge of carrying out further activities in the locality. NSS volunteers from engineering college and volunteers of Collective Thiruvananthapuram are also pitching in.
Samrudhi, under the mentorship of Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, Agriculture Minister VS Sunil kumar and District Collector K Vasuki aims at shifting the attitude of the public towards organic farming.
The second phase of ‘Samrudhi project’ will involve terrace farming which will be implemented as part of the project. The background work for terrace farming is in progress. “This practice could be made successful only if we have full support from the side of the residents. First terrace farming practice will be introduced near the Pattoor region,” said Anandhu.
Advantage of Samrudhi project
Provide safe and healthy food
Promoting a creative hobby
Eradicate vacant plot dump site
Global warming mitigation