This is to ensure availability of plants at nominal prices to promote urban horticulture

The efforts to promote urban horticulture in Bangalore got a boost on Monday with Mayor B. S. Sathyanarayana expressing willingness to provide space in Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) parks for production of vegetable seedlings to ensure availability of plant materials to residents in their localities at nominal prices.

The commitment in this regard was made by the Mayor at the valedictory of the two-day ‘Urban Krishi Mela’ organised by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, (UAS-B) on its campus to encourage Bangaloreans to grow vegetables and fruits at home, through methods such as terrace gardening, vertical gardening and kitchen gardening, to not only ensure availability of fresh and nutritious vegetables, but also to fight food shortage.

“We are ready to provide space ranging from 100 ft x 100 ft to 100 ft x 150 ft in each of the BBMP’s 120 parks,” the Mayor said, while declaring that the civic agency was willing to join hands with the university to promote urban horticulture.

According to UAS-B Vice-Chancellor K. Narayana Gowda, the varsity plans to train unemployed youth to take up plant production at these ward-level nurseries. “People of Bangalore are really interested in urban horticulture. Appropriate technologies for facilitating urban horticulture in residential premises are also available. But what is hindering the process is the lack of access to quality plant materials and other inputs. It is possible to motivate people to take up urban horticulture if plants are available in their neighbourhood at nominal rates,” he said.

Dr. Gowda suggested that the BBMP take care of a portion of funding for raising the proposed nurseries while the remaining portion should be arranged by convincing big IT companies to adopt these nurseries.

Referring to this, the Mayor said he would take up the issue when he would hold interactions with IT companies as per the plans by the BBMP to enter into memoranda of understanding (MoU) with them by November 10 to maintain and develop parks and major lung spaces in Bangalore under public-private partnership.

Mr. Sathyanarayana said the BBMP was willing to transport wet garbage being generated at K.R. Market to the university for converting the waste into compost. However, Dr. Gowda said transporting waste was a costly exercise and instead suggested that it was better to set up ward-level biogas plants that would take care of not only waste management, but also generate electricity. The manure, which would be available after generating power, could be sold to residents at nominal rates to support urban horticulture, he suggested.

S.R. Vishwanath, Yelahanka MLA, who was present at the valedictory, offered to provide funds and space for locating two nursery units in his constituency.

He appealed to the UAS-B to develop demonstration terrace gardens in his constituency to create public awareness.

Motamma, MLC, who attended the mela, said she too would develop a terrace garden at her house.

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