In what is likely to boost horticultural produce in Kerala, a project funded by State Horticulture Mission (SHM) and coordinated by Ernakulam District Agri-Horticulture Society will help residents of Kochi grow vegetables on their own terraces.
As part of the project, saplings of various vegetables including spinach, brinjal, green chilli and ladies finger are planted, grown, and placed at various homes in the city by SHM. A total of 20 bags with saplings will be given to each family.
Appreciating the move, K Priamwada, an independent horticulturist in Kochi, said, “If the state government shows more such pro-activeness in this segment, the horticulture industry in Kerala will get a huge boost. It will also ensure that there is no demand and supply gap with regard to availability of vegetables.”
Provision of polythene bags
To help the saplings grow, SHM is providing UV stabilised polythene bags, filled with a mix of sand, red mud, cow dung and requisite pesticides and medicines. These bags will serve as grow bags for the saplings. According to SHM, these polythene bags can be used for almost 5 years, unlike the usual plastic bags that gradually become brittle. It further informed that each of these bags weighs nearly 12 kg.
To make things easy for the people, SHM takes the polythene bags to houses and places them on the terrace, plants the seedlings and finally waters them. The family’s task is only to water the saplings for the rest of the days.
SHM also provides a booklet that contains information about diseases and treatment of saplings to the families. SHM’s aim is to ensure that every family in the city has an opportunity to grow enough vegetables for their use. This way, every household in the city will become a food grower and can relish fresh vegetables.