WARANGAL: Woman farmers of Warangal are doing wonders with leafy vegetables, at a time when their male counterparts are struggling to keep at their profession. They have been cultivating spinach, amaranthus, gongura, fenugreek leaves, and coriander leaves smack dab in the middle of Warangal Fort. These vegetables are free of chemicals and pesticides. Why Warangal Fort? Formerly the capital of Kakatiya dynasty, the city is known for its architectural grandeur and cultural heritage. The Fort is one of the major attractions of the Warangal. It has finely carved arches and pillars, and four large ornamental gateways made of stone.
Interestingly, the Fort also houses agriculture fields within these gateways. As the structure is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), ploughing is not permitted here. But cultivation of leafy vegetables is accepted, and used to be a major tourist attraction back in the day.
For several years, however, there has been no cultivation here at all due to lack of water supply in the fort. Speaking to Express, a woman farmer from the region, K Bhagya, said, “There used to be no proper water source for us to sustain cultivation of leafy vegetables. So it was halted for years.” Things took a turn for the good thanks to the incessant rains last year. The subsequent rise in groundwater levels brought women living around the fort back to the fields.These leafy vegetables are supplied to local markets, and the farmers earn `17,000 to `20,000 every month. “I have three acres of land, and I cultivate spinach, amarabthus and kenat leaves. Residents ofneighbouring areas buy vegetables from us,” said Bhagya.
Veggies over crops
Speaking to Express, another woman farmer, M Pushpa, said, “We prefer cultivating leafy vegetables over normal crops because we can harvest them in a month. We are growing them organically, with zero chemicals and pesticides. In this way, the natural balance is restored.” She added that with the pandemic, leafy vegetables were in high demand.