Plant material worth Rs. 10 lakh sold at event

The two-day Urban Krishi Mela being organised by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, to promote urban horticulture here saw an estimated 1.20 lakh people visiting on the first day on Sunday, according to UAS, Bangalore, Dean (Post-graduate studies) and mela chief co-ordinator C. Vasudevappa.

He told The Hindu that the visitors bought plant material worth about Rs. 10 lakh.

This mela is being held for the first time in the country to encourage people in urban areas to grow vegetables, fruits and mushrooms on their residential premises through terrace gardening and other methods to ensure availability of nutritious and fresh vegetables and also to fight food shortage. Apiary and fish-rearing are part of the garden package proposed under urban horticulture.

Such was the enthusiasm of the people that they flocked the exhibition venue showcasing various garden technologies even before it was inaugurated by Supreme Court Judge V. Gopala Gowda. About 120 stalls have been set up at the mela to sell plant material and seedlings of vegetables and flowers besides garden tools and related material.

It is an effort to blend interior and exterior architecture with appropriate gardening technologies for the best utilisation of space. Innovative technologies such as vertical gardening and wall gardening were showcased for those living in apartments.

“Grow bags”, which are water-proof plastic sacks doubling up as pots, were exhibited for those interested in terrace gardening. Drip irrigation system too had been showcased for the efficient use of water.

Trays containing 50 plants of common vegetables priced at a nominal price of Rs. 100 were popular.

UAS, Bangalore, Vice-Chancellor K. Narayana Gowda told The Hindu that urban horticulture will not only ensure availability of high-value vegetables but also help tackle the problem of solid waste disposal as residents are encouraged to turn their daily wet garbage into vermi-compost for their plants.

He said that the university was trying to make urban horticulture a sustainable initiative by trying to encourage residents welfare associations to take up production of quality seeds and plants to help ensure their availability for interested residents. The university would train interested associations in production of plant material, he noted.

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