Personal Finance

Kochi rooftops go green

V. Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on June 18, 2011 Published on June 18, 2011

The concept of a roof kitchen garden has drawn enthusiastic response from residents.

Cities going green with green buildings may be the buzz word today. But making the concrete jungle literally bloom is a different cup of tea.

Kitchen and terrace gardens are adding a new dimension to the idea of going green in the emerging metropolis of Kochi where the acreage on concrete roofs is on the rise year by year.

Efforts by individuals, and institutions such as the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK), have inspired a large number of Kochi's residents to take up cultivating their courtyards and terraces to supplement the vegetables and fruits purchased from the market.

As many as 400 kitchen and terrace gardens have already been set up in the city and its surrounding areas this year. And 6,000 city families have taken up cultivating at least a portion of their vegetable requirement. Response from the people is more than positive, the officials of VFPCK said.

Buoyed by the results, the council has started setting up vegetable gardens on terraces and in the backyards of urban homes. For a payment of Rs 3,500 a pack of 25 potted samplings will be set up by VFPCK in Kakkanad. If the customer is willing to foot the transport bill, the gardens can be set up anywhere.

The council has also been offering mushroom spawns and training to those willing to take up mushroom cultivation.This enthusiasm by the public is a sign that people are becoming more conscious about what they eat and are now willing to put in some time to produce vegetables or fruits even in limited quantities, the officials said.

Technical support

The Thrikkakara municipality in the outskirts of Kochi has prepared a project to help establish 1,500 terrace gardens for vegetables in the municipal area with the help of residents' associations. The plan was to help individual home owners set up terrace gardens with technical assistance from the VFPCK.

The idea was highlighted at a one-day workshop on organic farming organised as part of the four-day organic festival held recently.

The VFPCK officials said that training farmers was a key component of the mission entrusted with the council. The Haritha Nagari (green city) project launched with the aim of encouraging people in the urban areas to take up cultivation of vegetables and fruits had taken off in a big way.

Kerala requires about 15 lakh tonnes of vegetables a year of which only less than half was being produced within the State

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