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Category — India

Surat, India: Urban ag centre to train people in wholesome harvesting


We need pure vegetables and fruits. If we can grow them in our small premises, it would go a long way in improving the health of the people.”

India Times
Mar 17, 2015

SURAT: Urban Health and Climate Resilience Centre (UHCRC) will set up an urban agriculture cell and a food craft centre in the city in the next few months to check environmental degradation and bring about improvement in the quality of life of the people. It will also work to motivate sakhi mandals and other women organizations to meet its objectives.

UHCRC technical director Vikas Desai told TOI, “Impure air, polluted water and lack of nutritious food are the reasons for health problems among a majority of people, particularly those belonging to lower strata of society. The urban agriculture cell and food craft centre would help people get nutritious vegetables and fruits.”

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March 28, 2015   No Comments

Majority of India’s farmers want to ‘shift to cities': Survey reports


61 per cent of India’s farmers would like to shift to cities, and 50 per cent of farmers said they are “ready to quit farming” if such a possibility arises.

March 10, 2015


The report says, “When farmers were asked whether they want their children to settle in the city, as many as 60 per cent said they want their children to settle in the city. Another 14 per cent do not want their children to settle in the city, whereas 19 per cent said they will prefer their children’s choice on this matter.”

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March 18, 2015   No Comments

Weekend farming in Bengaluru, India


According to Section 79A of Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961, you can purchase land for agricultural purposes only if (a) you are an agricultural worker by profession.

By Divya Shekhar
Economic Times of India
Feb 27, 2015


Bengaluru: S Laxminarayan, 39, is a software engineer whose penchant for nature and urban farming goes beyond the terrace, kitchen or backyard gardening. Along with 10 friends, he has purchased around 10 acres of land near Malavalli, some 90 km from the city, where he farms every weekend, along with family. Laxminarayan and his gang represent a new breed of professionals in Bengaluru who turn farmers on weekends, working their way out of numerous legal tangles to practise community farming.

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March 8, 2015   Comments Off

Enthusiastic terrace farmers in IT community – Bangalore, India

Image courtesy: facebook/vani.murthy

“Today, gardening has become my yoga.”

Sindhu M V
Feb 21, 2015


The IT citizens of Bangalore, have been some of the most enthusiastic group of people who have taken to OTG in a big way. Vijay Satish is one among them. Even though his interest in gardening can be traced to his childhood, but terrace gardening was something his family had never explored. He says, “During my childhood, our garden had only ornamental plants. But when we had to construct a new house, our garden could no longer be accommodated. That’s when I began to use the terrace for growing plants, mostly vegetables and fruits.” The 2000 sq ft of terrace is crowned with ordinary as well as exotic plants.

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March 3, 2015   Comments Off

Father of India’s Terrace Gardening

drDr. Viswanath in his terrace garden.

Bangalore has over 5,000 terrace gardens now, with an increasing interest among youngsters.

By Shreya Pareek
The Better India
January 23, 2015


“For some reason we were not able to land on time and were flying over the city. That’s when I saw the rooftops of houses and thought about the rising temperature of Bangalore city. The idea came to me that if these open rooftops could be covered, it could help to reduce the temperature, and that is why I thought about bringing terrace gardening into the picture,” he says.

One of his favourite gardens is located in Hyderabad and is probably the oldest terrace garden in India. This 35 year old garden hosts trees like banana, guava and sapota, and the entire terrace is covered with plants, trees and grass. Dr. Kadur believes that with the government’s support, the country should be able to meet its vegetable needs through urban gardeners.

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February 11, 2015   Comments Off

Terrace farming in India – Chennai’s new rage


“Being on the terrace, the plants require frequent watering, at least twice a day during summer. Getting the right containers for each plant is also very important.”

By Nitya Menon
The Hindu
Jan 15, 2015


G. Ramakrishnan, a horticulturist, says his phone does not stop ringing these days, with people calling him up with doubts on mastering the art of terrace gardening.

With the space allotted to gardens in apartments rapidly shrinking, the terrace is being transformed to make up for the lack of green spaces.

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January 22, 2015   Comments Off

5,000 sq. ft. roof of multi-storied apartments in Kolkata, India turned into a vegetable nursery.

Nearly half a dozen varieties of leafy vegetables like notey shak, methi shak, palang shak (spinach), piring shak, several kinds of chilies, multiple varieties of brinjals, tomatoes, cauliflowers, cabbages, carrots, onions, beetroots, capsicum, garlic, mustard, flat beans (shim), bitter gourd (karola) are grown.

The rooftop farm can produce 8,000kg of vegetables a year.

Prithvijit Mitra
Times of India
Dec 29, 2014


Deb is assisted by Luis Gomez, a Mexican national who now works with him in Birbhum. While Gomez is an expert in urban hydroponic farming, the technique which is being used in the garden, Arun Ram — another member of the group — is apt in developing multiple varieties of indigenous vegetables. They are helped by Bablu Molla and Rakesh Ghosh. The team members said they found it easier to grow the vegetables on the roof than doing it in the rugged terrain of Birbhum.

So, you have cherry tomatoes, white brinjals, white and red flat beans and okras with eight ridges. Last week, the farm grew kulfa (purslane) — a leafy vegetable that is no longer grown in Bengal. The garden, say its keepers, promotes biodiversity by attracting birds, butterflies and insects. “In the long run, it will keep the building cool and protect it from rain and heat,” said Deb.

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January 12, 2015   Comments Off

Rooftop Paddy Field in Kozhikode, India

Roof-top farming may not be something new to people, but 56-year-old Keerthi Chandran’s farming methods may amuse even innovative farm enthusiasts.

Atop his house and at a building constructed adjacent to it at Karikandan Para, Kozhikode, he grows all kinds of vegetables, along with paddy.

By Aswathi Krishna Published
New Indian Express
27th December 2014


Since his parents focused on rubber and arecanut trees, it was a difficult task for Chandran to try out vegetable farming there. Hence he tactically shifted to roof-top farming, which he gradually found to be the best as the plants got adequate sunlight. “If you creatively arrange your vegetable garden on the terrace you will not need some other place to relax,” says Chandran, adding that almost all the vegetables that can grow in this climate can be grown on the terrace. He even tried his hand at paddy out of curiosity and proved that grow bags are enough for paddy cultivation.

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January 9, 2015   Comments Off

Hyderabad government fails to publicize its urban terrace farming program


Officials said only 1,000 people have made use of the program

By Ch Sushil Rao
India Times
Dec 20, 2014,


HYDERABAD: You can grow vegetables – pesticide free- on your own and on the terrace of your house but a scheme that sure would have hit off well with the urban populace has fallen flat.

The state government simply did not take the interest to publicize the scheme which now technically closes on December 20.

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January 3, 2015   Comments Off

Kid Farmers prove they can do it in Thiruvananthapuram, India

The students of Kallai Government Upper Primary School with the crops on their school campus. Photo by K Shijith.

Ladies finger, curry leaf, ash gourd and tomato are a few crops to name in their vegetable garden.

By Aswathi Krishna
India Express
15th December 2014


The students embarked on farming when their school became a venue to receive the ‘Vithuvandi,’ an ambitious project of the Departments of Agriculture and Education. Awareness classes and exhibitions conducted by the organisers of the programme instilled confidence in the students to try their hands at farming. The first crop they cultivated was red spinach. “Since we shunned the use of chemicals, the spinach we cultivated were good in quality and quantity,” says C K Vinodan, headmaster of the school.

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December 28, 2014   Comments Off

For his mobile-farming, engineer receives Indira Gandhi Award


With the automated farming system, one can do farming right from the city

By Naveeta Singh
Dec 6, 2014


Under the automated farming system, one can do farming right from the city with the help of a mobile device or a tablet. It also needs less labour on field. “A mobile network at the farm is necessary. There is a data processing unit at the form which has a SIM card. The card will acquire data like, weather conditions, humidity, water required, among others, from the processor and transmit it to your mobile phone,” says Kesarkar.

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December 13, 2014   Comments Off

A vegetable garden in the middle of Kozhikode, India

Members of Green View, a collective of organic farmers in Kozhikode, preparing ground for a vegetable garden on a plot belonging to the Government Women and Children’s Hospital at Kottapparamba in Kozhikode. Photo: K. Ragesh.

In addition to farming, Green View has plans to set up an outlet to market the organic vegetable they produce in indifferent parts of the district at the entrance of the vegetable garden.

By Jabir Mushthari
The Hindu
Oct 21, 2014


There is something seemingly aberrant about a sizeable vegetable garden in the middle of a city. But that is exactly what Green View, a collective of organic farmers from Kozhikode is promising for the city folks. The collective, led by its president M.P. Rajul Kumar, has started the groundwork for the project after the district administration agreed to grant a piece of unused revenue land on contract for the purpose.

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October 26, 2014   Comments Off

Mumbai: Organic is the way to grow for these urban farmers

mumbufMumbai urban farmers.

In May 2014, Urban Leaves India organised terrace farming workshops for children from around 100 schools across the city at the Maharashtra Nature Park.

By Omkar Gokhale
Hindustan Times Mumbai
October 20, 2014


For the past five years, Urban Leaves India – a group of amateur organic farmers – has been spreading awareness about urban farming in Mumbai. The group conducts workshops every Sunday to teach people how to prepare organically rich soil and become ‘urban farmers’.

These gardening enthusiasts do not need a plot of land to exercise their green thumbs; the terrace on their buildings serves as their backyard garden.

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October 25, 2014   Comments Off

Dreaded Viper bite for those working the land in India

A Russell’s viper in Pune, India.

Letter describing a bite on the toe

By Venkat Iyer
City Farmers Yahoo Group in India
Aug. 30, 2014

Anyone who lives in a village or works the land will always have the dread of one event. There is always a silent prayer hoping that the dreaded event never happens in ones family or on ones field. Well, for the last ten years at the farm, in-spite of a few close encounters the event had not occurred. On the fateful day of 14th August destiny decided to test us. Yes the dreaded event of a snake bite finally happened at the farm.

Baban and me were cleaning the fence of creepers and other sundry stuff when we decided to take a break for a cup of tea. As we walked back to the house he went a little away to tie the bull to another chikoo tree. Just as I reached the back porch of the house, I heard a painful scream from Baban and the next minute he was running towards the house yelling that something had bitten him. He was sweating profusely and I calmed him down, gave him a glass of water and shooted off towards the chikoo tree to see what had bitten him.

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September 11, 2014   Comments Off

Innovative City Farmer Tastes Success Again in Thiruvananthapuram, India

R Raveendran at his rooftop garden.

He has a cultivated paddy and around 15 varieties of vegetables on his terrace

By Saritha S Balan
The New India Express
30th July 2014


Using the drip irrigation method, he cultivates paddy, chilli, yam, amaranthus, ladies finger, tomato, brinjal, ash gourd, passion fruit, ginger, turmeric, wild turmeric, curry leaf and ‘pudina’ on 1,450 square feet. Raveendran started with the method in 2011 and has now reached a stage of success as he was in other experiments too.

“The produce is more than enough for the use of a family and I do sell the vegetables. For the past three years, I didn’t need to buy rice for Onam for my family. I get 30 kg of paddy from which I can make 15 kg of rice,” he says.

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August 6, 2014   Comments Off