1. Agriculture World

Government Is Offering 75% Subsidy For Urban Farming

The vertical garden structure costs Rs20,000, and the State Horticultural Mission will give a 75 percent subsidy for the initial period. A unit will include 16 pots, and when a consumer purchases a structure, they will receive all of the essential goods, including fertilisers and seeds.

Chintu Das
Vertical Farming
Vertical Farming

The Kerala State Horticulture Mission plans to buy and distribute Arka Vertical Garden structures to individuals living in urban areas around the state in order to boost urban farming

To promote it in the beginning, the urban population of Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram was chosen. The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) in Bengaluru created the Arka Vertical Garden structure. The IIHR has said that it is willing to give the technology to the state government. Once the technology has been transferred, the State Horticultural Mission wants to create structures locally with the support of cooperative businesses. In the first phase, the Mission intends to supply 330 units to urban households in Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram. 

Lack of room to farm is a worry for those living in urban settings, and this vertical garden structure was designed expressly to address this issue. 

This structure is excellent for producing vegetables in a safe and convenient manner for the needs of families. These constructions may be placed in regions with plenty of sunshine, such as a balcony or a patio. Vegetables, medicinal plants, and flower harvests can all be grown in these structures. 

The base frame, primary central support, and branches with pots or grow bags are the three basic components. As a growth medium, soil or coco peat can be used in pots. This building takes up very little room, since it can fit into a one-square-meter space. 

Plants that demand more growth media and reach a height of over two feet, such as tomato, chilli, peas, and brinjal, can be put near the structure's base. In the top floors, leafy vegetables and medicinal plants such as brahmi, pudina, peppermint, and others can be produced. 

The plants are watered using a 25-liter plastic container with tiny tubes and drippers at the top of the building. In a season, five kilogrammes of crop can be gathered (depending on the kind of crops we plant). 

Subsidy For Urban Farming

The vertical garden structure costs Rs 20,000, and the State Horticultural Mission will give a 75 percent subsidy for the initial period. A unit will include 16 pots, and when a consumer purchases a structure, they will receive all of the essential goods, including fertilisers and seeds. 

“We purchased ten units from IIHR on a trial basis and put two of them above our Thiruvananthapuram office. Some tubes in the structure were broken during transit, which is why we decided to build it locally with the help of cooperatives like the Kerala Agro Industries Corporation Limited (KAIC), Raidco, and others. We may purchase a unit for Rs19,400 from IIHR, with transportation costing Rs1,000 per unit. A total of Rs 20,400 is required to purchase a unit. A customer would be able to purchase a unit for Rs5,000 since the state and central governments will split the subsidy costs in a 40:60 ratio,” said Sindhu N Panicker, Joint Director of Agriculture (State Horticulture Mission). 

She further stated that IIHR has shown a readiness to transfer the technology for Rs5800 and that state cooperative institutions have showed an interest in purchasing it. "For each unit, KAIC and Raico are asking Rs 22,000." Sindhu said, "It's a bit higher, and we're in the process of negotiating with them." 

Several residents' welfare groups have praised it and shown a desire to work with the State Horticultural Mission to promote it. "Many urban families are interested in farming, but lack of space prevents them from doing so. This vertical garden design appears to be promising. Let's start with an experiment. If it succeeds, we would build more of these units," said Gopalakrishnan B, President of Ernakulam's Netaji Residents Association. 

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