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Northern India: Meet Gurgaon’s urban farmers

Shikha Gaur is a corporate event planner and prefers her self grown fresh vegetables and fruits over the market’s produce (BCCL/ Ajay Kumar Gautam)

These urban farmers say that over the months, their farms have become so productive that they are now reaping about 20kg of fruits and vegetables every week.

By Abhimanyu Mathur
Times of India
Dec 19, 2017

Excerpt:

Dheeraj Garg is an IT professional and like many other professionals, despite a busy work life, he finds time to engage in a ‘hobby’ every weekend. Every Sunday, Dheeraj drives to Badshahpur on the outskirts of the city, where he – along with over a hundred other Gurugrammers – works as a farmer in his own farm, growing everything, from tomatoes and strawberries. Community organic farming is finding popularity among the working class of the Millennium City, who are not averse to getting their hands dirty in the mud and engage in farming. Currently, over 100 families from across the city are engaged in the practice on leased farms in Badshahpur in a project started by the District Horticulture Department and supported by a local NGO, Green Leaf Initiative.

The project was started in October last year by the Gurgaon District Horticulture Officer Deen Mohammad Khan, and was expanded after it gained popularity. Khan tells us, “We offer technical support and expertise to farmers here. The residents have formed a community on WhatsApp, leasing 52 farms in Badshahpur, where they grow all sorts of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and varieties of flowers.”

Khan adds, “The idea was to create a space where Gurgaon residents could be closer to nature and promote organic community farming.” Khan’s department provides the technical expertise and advice to budding farmers and has also facilitated hiring of 10 labourers to assist the residents in their farms. They are all paid using the fees from the residents. All the practices of farming are completely organic.

Read the complete article here.