VIJAYAWADA: The Horticulture Department has launched a new initiative called ‘Terrace Gardening’, under the ‘Rashtriya Krishi Yojana, with a view to encourage people to grow their own vegetables, according to a source.
The source told Express here on Saturday that as part of the initiative, the department was also providing a ‘Do it yourself’ kit to the interested people for their kitchen garden with a 50 per cent subsidy.
The source said that as gardening was a favourite pastime for most of the housewives and retired people, the department had initiated this programme and added that it was providing the kit, consisting of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides besides some gardening tools, with a 50 per cent subsidy. He added that it was targeting those who were averse to spending huge amounts for buying vegetables from the market.
“The kit consists of five varieties of vegetable seeds like brinjal, tomato, etc., according, pesticides, fertilizers, four silkolene covers, two cages for plants like tomato, red sand, neem cake, a water-sprinkler and other gardening tools along with a technical booklet with instructions, totally costing `6,000. This will be provided at a cost of `3,000 to the applicants, with the remaining `3,000 being borne by the Horticulture Department.
This has been introduced to provide a platform for the city-dwellers to cultivate their own vegetables on their rooftops,” said Krishna district Horticulture Department assistant director S Sujatha.
She said that the residents of Vijayawada, who wanted to avail themselves of the scheme needed to have 50-100 square feet of space on the roof of their houses and an overhead water tank. Taking into consideration the climatic conditions of the city, the Horticulture Department was issuing lightweight containers, waterproof covers, bio-pesticides, water-soluble pesticides and fungicides and thus providing an opportunity to the people to cultivate pure organic vegetables in the available space.
The officer said that the initiative was evoking a good public response and added that more than 50 persons had started cultivating vegetables on their roof tops and balconies.
She added that her department’s new initiative has not only provided a satisfying hobby to the people but also helped them cut down their spending on vegetables from the market.
“As they need to invest little money and can grow their own choice of vegetables, people are showing interest. Terrace gardens also go a long way in reducing air pollution and heat in the house even as they and give the grower a chance to taste real organic produce,” Sujatha said.