Many people in cities like Chennai have evinced keen interest in rooftop farming.— File photo
With a view to encouraging gardening by residents, the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department is likely to propose extending the do-it-yourself” scheme across the State soon, according to a department official.
According to the official, the department has already achieved 85 per cent of its target under the scheme. The department reduced the pricing of the kits from Rs. 1,350 under the earlier scheme to Rs. 500 at present.
The scheme is available in four districts in Tamil Nadu. “In Madurai and Tiruchi, though, the off take was not big as in Chennai. But we are getting a proposal ready to extend the scheme across the State,” an official of the directorate of horticulture and plantation crops told The Hindu.
With the mushrooming of apartments across the city, many people living in flats are taking up rooftop gardening and the affordability of the scheme has allowed people to cultivate fruits and vegetables in their rooftops or balconies.
The department has reduced the size of the kit from the previous scheme. “Last year, we sold 11,000 kits. It was priced at Rs.1,350, had seeds, 20 bags, tools, a water can, a digging fork and other materials. The cost of it was Rs. 2,650 and was provided at a subsidy of 50 per cent,” the official said.
Under the current scheme, buyers get six bags, bio-fertilisers, neem oil and seven different types of seeds including palak, bhindi , coriander and raddish.
“But we are now seeing a bit of saturation in the city, since people have taken to rooftop gardening quite well in the city.” The department also sold more than 400 kits at the recently concluded annual book fair festival in the city, the official said.
Many people in cities are showing interest in taking up rooftop farming