The Delhi government will launch a campaign to promote urban farming, under which people will be encouraged to grow vegetables and fruits in their houses, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Monday. He said that ward-level action plans will be made for implementing it.
“The urban areas in Delhi are getting crowded with a shift from farms and greenery to concrete houses, noise, and higher population density. In such a situation, Delhi is bound to face shortage of space when it comes to future plantation drives. Keeping these probable conditions in mind, the Delhi government is preparing a mega plan on urban farming,” the Minister said. He said that people who have terraces and verandahs with access to sunlight, can begin urban farming to meet their daily requirements, while contributing to improving the environment. “Urban farming would help citizens to avoid pesticides and harmful chemicals in the food products that they consume on a day-to-day basis, while also increasing the green cover in the city,” Mr. Rai said. The Horticulture Department will be the nodal department for this initiative and on April 25 an “urban planning roundtable conference” will be organised for the initiative. “Along with members from the government and the Pusa Institute of Technology, other experts and agencies will be a part of the conference. Commencing our urban farming mega plan, we will brainstorm its implementation in Delhi at this conference,” the Minister said. Mr. Rai said that to train people, create awareness and make people join the urban farming campaign, the government has proposed establishing Delhi Environment Protection Committee (DEPC), which would consist of MLAs, councillors, environment enthusiasts and people from various NGOs and RWAs. This will help in making urban farming a mass movement with the public playing a crucial role in it, he said. “We understand that once people start urban farming they’ll need to procure material like seeds, bags, soil, equipment as well as training. For this purpose, we will create a panel from where the required inventory can be procured. They will just need to make one phone call and get all their needs fulfilled from there,” the Minister said.