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Category — India

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   No Comments

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

Green thumbs sprout on cityscape in Kozhikode, India

roofindA vegetable garden set up atop a house in Kozhikode. Kozhikode is the third largest city in Kerala. Photo by S. Ramesh Kurup.

“We never grow hybrid varieties as they are likely to perish fast. With locally available seeds, we can nurture a durable vegetable garden on the rooftop.”

By Mithosh Joseph
The Hindu
July 26, 2014


“With just 10 earthen pots, a small family can venture into rooftop cultivation to produce at least seven varieties of vegetables,” says Babu Parambath, a farmer who coordinates the Vengeri-based Niravu Farmers’ Club. Over 25 households in the city are currently experimenting with this low-cost farming technique under the club’s guidance.

The households attached to Niravu Club cultivate okra, tomato, spinach, cowpea, brinjal, bush pepper, and green chilli organically.

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August 1, 2014   Comments Off

India: Policy Paper – Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture


National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi, December 2013

Policy Paper Number 67
12 pages, Dec. 2013



Global population will reach around nine billion by the end of 2050, of which, about 70 per cent shall be urbanized. In India, by 2050, nearly 900 million people will beliving in urban areas. With the expanding urban fringes, more and more rural areas are becoming peri-urban. Given the high population pressure, rising food prices and the socio-economic and environmental stresses, especially in the peri-urban areas, meeting the food, nutrition, health and environmental security in the urban andperi-urban areas will be a serious challenge.

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July 8, 2014   Comments Off

Students develop liking to grow kitchen gardens in Mysore, India


Senior assistant of horticulture M S Raju said that they want to educate people in urban areas on gardening with an emphasis to organic vegetables.

Times of India
June 24, 2014


Growing a kitchen garden has caught the fancy of students, entrepreneurs, homemakers, and children alike in Mysore.

P Nalme, a student who grows mushrooms at her home, said that she is particularly interested in growing organic veggies as “they are good for health”. According to Nalme, awareness must be created among youth, especially students, to take to organic farming. She thanked the horticulture department for organizing a training programme on kitchen gardening in its premises at Kukkarahalli on Sunday.

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July 6, 2014   Comments Off

Schools directed to grow vegetables, fruits in kitchen gardens in Mysore district, India

The idea is not to minimise the expenditure on the meal programme but to develop a healthy ambience in the schools, Ningarajaiah, officer in charge of Akshara Dasoha in Mysore district, has said. Photo by M.A. Sriram.

Soon, vegetables grown in kitchen gardens by children in government schools will be used for cooking food under the mid-day meal programme — Akshara Dasoha — in the State.

By Shankar Bennur
The Hindu
May 29 2014


The Department of Public Instruction (DPI), in its recent circular, has asked school administrations to make use of vacant space available on the school premises to grow vegetables, fruits and leaves as part of the “Maguvigondu Mara, Shalegondu Vana” programme.

Already, many government schools in Mysore district have developed gardens on their campuses and are growing vegetables that are used in cooking meals.

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June 6, 2014   Comments Off

The Indian Kitchen Gardener: It’s always Eden on Lavannya Goradia’s Bangalore terrace


I grow about 35 different vegetables, a few fruits, plants solely for my butterfly friends and lots of herbs.

By Kavya Chandra
The Alternative
May 21, 2014


I was born and brought up in Baroda and came to Bangalore to practice architecture and design. Currently I run a small studio that specialises in contemporary and environmentally friendly architecture in the city.

Gardening came from my love for cooking that draws inspiration from Jamie Oliver, especially the series of Jamie At Home! After shifting into a bigger space I had the freedom of growing many kinds of vegetables and greens and taken full advantage of my terrace. I now look forward everyday now to home-grown, clean organic produce.

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May 24, 2014   Comments Off