(Above) Suryadevara Paparao growing brinjals on the rooftop of his house at Lakshmipathinagar in Vijayawada. (Below)Dr. U. Venkata Ramana in the backyard of his house at Srinagar Bank Colony in Vijayawada.— Photos: S. Sandeep Kumar
The city may be turning a concrete jungle, but there are still many who cultivate vegetables on rooftops and backyards.
And, the good news is the Horticulture Department is supplying mud, seed, tools and manure on subsidy to those interested, and, as a result, more and more people are taking up backyard farming.
Suryadevara Papa Rao, a retired businessman from Lakshmipathi Colony at Autonagar, is one such person. Though he has been growing mango and coconut in his compound, the idea of cultivating vegetables on rooftop struck him after the Horticulture Department announced the supply of materials at subsidised rates.
For the last six months, he has been cultivating ribbed gourd, lady finger, brinjal, beans and quite a few leafy vegetables, including spinach, on the rooftop. “It fulfils my domestic requirements to a major extent,” Mr. Papa Rao says.
Age has not been a deterrent for him.
“After the Horticulture Department announced the subsidy, it made me think of rooftop farming. After 50 per cent subsidy, all the materials were offered at Rs. 3,000, and it helped me a lot,” he adds. Like him, Dr. U. Venkata Ramana has also been cultivating vegetables at his house in Srinivasanagar Bank Colony for the last couple of months. Hailing from an agriculture family, cultivation was in his blood, but then, striking a balance with work was a challenge.
“All you need to set apart is one hour a day. It actually helps you in de-stressing and gives some relief. I will recommend it to all people,” says the doctor.
The good thing about growing vegetables in your backyard or rooftop, it helps in consuming fresh and pesticide-free vegetables, Mr. Ramana adds.
He has cultivated bottle gourd, brinjals, ladyfingers and is now planning to cultivate ivy gourd soon.
As a trial run, the Horticulture Department at Vinayak Theatre, had offered 50 kits earlier this year and now it is offering 300 kits this time. The kits, which usually cost Rs.5,600 in open market, would be offered for Rs.2,800 after 50 per cent subsidy. The kit includes mud, seeds, neem powder and oil to control pests, tarpaulin cover and tools.
For details contact: 81878-90471
The Horticultural Department will offer the kit, which usually cost Rs.5,600 each in open market, at Rs.2,800 after 50 per cent subsidy