Urban Agriculture Demonstration Garden
The Begining :
With the support of KGI we started the project - Urban Agriculture Demonstration Garden . This project was mainly to promote food production by transfering technologies to children and women of Urban Slum named Rickhaw Colony of Niladribihar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India which could reduce hunger at their family level by growing their own food.
The Process :
We imparted training to the children, the primary stakeholders of this project and trasfered technologies on vegetable cultivation, irrigation, fertilizer application, etc through Soil Less Agriculture.
We provided 100 families seeds, fertiliser, bamboo and other materials so that they could able to palnt in front of their respective houses and grow food. As space was little, we decided to have crops that can be grown above ground as we have more space in the air. So mostly creeper / Guard varietis of vegetables were planted like - ridge guard, Chachndra, Kunduri, Janhi ( all are local names) that are creeped above in support of bamboos, and some are stages made above the ground ( as per the photos attached).
By this time some creeper vegetables are flowering and fruits are coming up, as we started late. Some varieties are also produced fruits.
This was a first opportunity to work with KGI that shows the children and women the path ahead to grow food at little places with no problems that are entangled with agriculture. They used liquid fertilizer to the plants that had a polythene base with sands.
The Challenges :
In India we had our General Elections, and so in our state too. There was a Election Code of Conduct in force up to April 17 2014, so we started the project little bit late. We faced this challenge at that time.
Again another challenge arrived relating to the space/place farming as planned but most of the chidren and women suggested to provide support to each family sothat they can watch, maintain and guard the planta and produces. As in the slum there are many bulls moving arround and fighting among themselves and they could bring harm to the demo farm. So we changed the plan little bit according to the suggestion of the children.
The Impact :
" I did not expect any day that i will grow food of my own hand, that to in a pace where we do not even space to play" - she added " I will never give up this knowledge but grow my food, up to death" - says Laxmi, a 11 year old girl who came with her parents 5 years back in search of job in the capital.
" I am a farmer now, Maa ( Mother) ! " - tells Srimanta, 14 , to his mother with exitement, while touching the fruits on the creeper bush.
" I am very happy to see vegetable fruits coming on the clibing plants that one day will feed us fresh, plucked by my own hand and will prepare curry for my children and husband and my father and mother - in - law" adding it to - thanks KIGi (Kitchn Garden International) as she could not pronounce it well, while smiling in the face. " we will produce more and more by planting and allowing the crepper vegetable varieties up to the roof top hence"
The Way Forward:
We plan to intesify the proces among other slum dwellers of the urban area through trainings. By using the urban garbage and wastes we plan to have several kitchen gardens by asking small piece of lands from the Municipal Corparation Chairman / Mayor. Hope KGI will support us in this initiative.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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