1. Success Story

Making of Sky Garden : A unique way of Rooftop Paddy Cultivation


A paddy field on top of your home is not a myth, it is a reality. To know that you can harvest your rice from your own rooftop is almost like a mission impossible becoming mission possible. To experience this very fact one needs to meet Mr.R. Raveendran, an urban organic farmer from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He is a symbol of hope and a healthy lifestyle. 

Innovative Farmer with unending ideas

His abode is unique because of the ideas he has executed on every inch of his land. A normal two storied urban building is not only his home but also his paddy field, kitchen garden, and orchard. The most striking feature is the rooftop paddy cultivation. For this paddy cultivation, he uses 300sq.ft of the rooftop area.H e is very particular in making sure that the weight of the plants and pots are not exerted on the floor of the terrace but on the walls and parapets, for that he invented his own way by attaching iron pipes to  parapets which are given a support from terrace floor. The support is placed meticulously over the position of walls of the downstairs rooms. Over that, a platform is made using iron rods and sheets, on that pots are placed. This also prevents any kind of damage to the structure, moreover, it helps to keep the floor neat and tidy.

He has around 150 pots of paddy and he follows dry land paddy cultivation, which gives more than 32Kg per yield. Like this paddy can be cultivated thrice in a year. The advantage of dryland paddy is that it requires less water, and just once in a week, the crops have to be watered. In order to maintain standing water level on the pot and to avoid evaporation azole is used. The paddy variety Prathyasha and Uma are used generally.

An example of sustainable living

R.Raveendran is an automobile engineer turned farmer. he is giving a message to the society and he is living it. Though most of us are aware of the usage of dangerous fertilizers and pesticides in our food. We don't take any effort to go for an alternative. But he makes it possible and he shows space is not a constraint to keep away from farming.

His terrace also has all the necessary vegetables and fruits, and they hardly buy vegetables from shops for their daily use. He is a keen observer of nature and it is how he develops his ideas for farming. He is a recipient of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Fellow Farmer Award in 2017 and also received many recognitions for his innovations in farming. He is active in this field since 1996.

He is making sure to share his knowledge with as many people as possible. His 4-Year-old grandson is his sidekick in nursing the plants, thus he is extending the culture and message to the next generation.

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