An online survey by ATREE in Bengaluru has shown that 50.8% of the respondents have a garden of some kind in their homes. The survey, which aimed at finding out if urban agriculture is viable in Bengaluru, found that out of them, only 32% grow vegetables or fruits in their gardens.
The respondents also indicated that a majority of them, 48.5%, had their garden spaces outside their houses, while 26% of them had terrace gardens.
Another 21.3% did their gardening on the balconies of their houses. These gardeners mostly had flowers or ornamental plants (22%) in their gardens, while 21.8% of them reported having grown greens and another chunk of people grew solanaceae (chillies, peppers, and vegetables).
However, the number of people who grew edibles in their gardens was relatively low. Although 81% of the respondents indicated that they would be interested in having an edible garden, they are faced with constraints such as a lack of space (55%), a lack of time (25.1%), and a lack of information (12%).
Chethana Casiker, a researcher with ATREE who presented the survey findings. also noted that despite 45 to 55% of the regular Indian diet being pollinator dependent (vegetables, fruits, spices, pulses), the cultivation of the pollinator dependent crops in the areas around Bengaluru has come down in the recent years.
This problem is not limited to the city as from all around the world, there have been reports about growing concerns about pollinator loss and an increasing demand for pollination services.
Contrary to popular belief, the study around bees in sites in rural and urban areas has shown that urban sites are richer in bee species as well as floral diversity. These spaces are also home to many lesser-known bee species and the community’s higher response to floral resources might be one of the causes, as identified by the researchers.
ATREE is also setting up centres across Bengaluru to generate more data on the ecology of bees in urban systems, to bring forth more functional taxa into focus, work with edible gardening and agriculture, and many other purposes.