Worried by shooting vegetable prices and the escalating costs of fruits and flowers? The Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department seems to have an answer and is ready to guide those interested in the venture.

The Urban Vegetable Cultivation programme organised by the Department on February 23, at Bethel Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Ayanavaram, was a success.

Villivakkam MLA J. C. D. Prabhakar inaugurated the programme by planting a 'mimusops elangi' (Magizham) sapling at the entrance of the school auditorium. Speaking of the ‘Vision Tamil Nadu 2023’ plan of the Chief Minister, he commended the officials of the government department and the agricultural university teachers who participated in the programme. He recalled that when he was nine years old, he enjoyed growing vegetables and flowers at home and asked the students to develop the habit of growing such plants in their home which will no doubt relieve the stress at looking the blooming flowers and vegetables.

Mr. Prabhakar also released a hand book published by Horticulture Department with detailed technical information to raise vegetables and flowers at home.

Shanthi Balasubramaniam, Professor and Head, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Information and Training Centre, Anna Nagar, conducted a demonstration on raising edible mushrooms using minimum space and manure. She also advised students to visit the training centre, if necessary for any clarification.

Deputy Director of Horticulture Department, Mary Sujatha outlined the importance of home and roof gardening in every household to grow vegetables and greens in pots or plastic containers or even in used gunny bags for their daily needs. She assured the audience the technical help through the horticulture officers and assistant agriculture officers available in city in various places like Thiruvanmiyur, Anna Nagar, Perambur and Madhavaram.

Recalling his school days, K. Ramadoss, president of North Chennai District Exnora, said that a period was allotted to teach gardening with cultivation of vegetables and flowers. He mentioned a spacious site to start a horticultural depot which he arranged with the trustees of Shri Raghavendra Brindavan campus in Ayanavaram in order to locate the Perambur depot which is shifted to Madhavaram and he requested the deputy director of horticulture to visit the site for approval.

Principal of Bethel School, Florence Durairaj appreciated the officials from the Horticultural Department for having organised the vegetable cultivation programme in the school premises and she was proud to welcome the TN Agricultural University professors who graced the function.

School Correspondent Durairaj was present on the occasion. The participants including school children were given vegetable/ flower seed packets and organic manure free of cost by the department. Horticulture Officer, K. Pandian proposed a vote of thanks.

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