Backyard gardening catching up in Anantapur – The Hans India


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Anantapur: Raising kitchen gardens and organic vegetables has become a hobby for health-conscious people in urban areas and for farmers in rural areas, thanks to the Agriculture department for promoting ‘Backyard Kitchen Gardens and Organic vegetable gardens’ by encouraging cultivation of healthy organic vegetables. Dubbed as Zero-Based Natural Farming (ZBNF) it has succeeded in promoting kitchen gardens in more than 65,000 households in the district. Educated housewife and social worker Indirani in the city told The Hans India that her hobby is kitchen garden. She raises a home kitchen garden, growing green leaves and tomatoes and other vegetables, lady fingers and brinjals. Fed up with consuming highly chemicals sprayed vegetables and green leaves which are causing health problems, she is now cultivating vegetables and leafy vegetables sufficient for her family in the narrow space that she has. Her organic farming gives her a sense of satisfaction, good health and tasty curries every day.Similar are the stories of scores of housewives both in urban and rural areas. The department of Agriculture has identified not only interested people, who have small or big backyards for home cultivation but also identified 5,000 small farmers, who own half acre to one-acre lands interested in growing healthy organic vegetables with maximum water efficiency. Kalpana, an organic woman farmer raising organic vegetables under the government scheme, speaking to The Hans India said her entire family members in the village are enjoying the organic vegetables cultivated in her one-acre farm. Her vegetables are also fetching high prices in the market. ZBNF district project manager Laxma Naik told The Hans India that a 3 inches mat is developed around the plants under the mulching method and nutrients are produced through microbial activity which in turn enriches the soil and makes the soil and plant roots iron rich. Crop biodiversity is promoted by cultivating diverse vegetables side by side including millets, pulses, oil seeds and vegetables etc. Housewives, who have already established kitchen gardens are boasting of their high-quality greens and vegetables. They say that a rich enticing odour is emanating while cooking and is undoubtedly very tasty. To eat healthy food, growing once own kitchen gardens is the only panacea to the growing chemicalisation of daily consumed food. Integrated Child Development Scheme project also has taken up kitchen gardens raising at all its ICDS centres and Anganwadis to give chemical-free food to children in Anganwadis.
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