Ten houses each from 50 residents’ associations in the municipal limits have been identified for the farming project. A feast using vegetables produced on one’s own roof during this Onam is the target set for the project.

Setting a model for their counterparts across the district, residents’ associations in Thrikkakara municipal limits are about to embark on terrace vegetable farming under the Peri-urban Terrace Vegetable Farming project being implemented by the State Horticulture Mission in association with the Ernakulam Agri-Horticulture Society.

Ten houses each from 50 residents’ associations in the municipal limits have been identified for the farming project. A feast using vegetables produced on one’s own roof during this Onam is the target set for the project.

Training programmes to familiarise the families concerned with the nuances of terrace farming are being conducted by experts from the District Agri-Horticulture Society.

“Office bearers of respective residents’ associations with genuine interest in farming have been chosen for the project wherever possible so that they can set a model.

Once they become accustomed to the practice, they in turn will give training to other members of their associations.

The idea is to cover all households in the region within a year,” M.S Anilkumar, president, Thrikkakara Residents’ Association Apex Council (TRAAC) said.

Households are given a handbook to learn effective farming methods and to identify and fight pests that attack vegetables.

Increase in subsidy

Though the idea has been under consideration for close to a year now, it turned feasible only lately with the State government increasing the subsidy component significantly.

Earlier, it would have cost Rs.3,500 to purchase 20 pots for terrace farming from the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Kerala.

With the enhanced subsidy component, the entire kit including 20 ultraviolet stabilized bags being provided by the Horticulture Mission would cost only Rs.400, said Mr. Anilkumar.

TRAAC handed over Rs.1 lakh out of the Rs. 2 lakh needed to implement the project in 500 households to the District Agri-Horticulture Society last week.

The rest of the amount will be handed over shortly.

Clean City project conceived by TRAAC to ensure cleanliness is also in the initial stage of implementation.

As a pilot project, bio pots are being installed in 100 households in Mavelipuram Residents’ Association as part of waste treatment at the source of generation.

Again, the increase in subsidy component to 75 per cent has made this more economical with each household requiring to contribute about Rs.375 after the subsidy, Mr. Anilkumar said.

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