Rooftop organic farming promoted for healthy city

- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu
'Experts say if rooftop farming flourishes it will improve the quality of air in Kathmandu city'

Aug 21, 2015-In a bid to promote organic farming on rooftops of Valley houses, Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) in coordination with a partner organisation will be providing training for it to 150 households.

The training has been highly appreciated by Valley denizens, specially at a time when people in the Valley have had to consume vegetables with excessive amount of pesticides at times.

Training participants will be taught to plant seasonal and non-seasonal green vegetables such as bitter gourd, brinjal, capsicum, bottle gourd, carrot, sponge gourd and tomato among others.

Among 400 households applying for the training, KMC selected households from Bhimsenkola, Sinamangal, Buddhanagar, Kalanki, Teku and Dallu.

“We have selected these people with three volunteers inspecting their documents,” said Rabin Man Shrestha, Environment Department chief of KMC.  He said some people were reluctant to do roof farming after the quake. “And our motive is to assure people that earthquake doesn’t add any risk in doing such farming,” he added.

 KMC officials say the training will take place next week with a cluster of 25 people each. Clean Energy Nepal (CEN), a non-profit organisation that has been working for preserving environment and greenery, is working on the training session and farming implementation. Official added that they have already hired seven agro experts for the training session.

However, this is not the first time that this campaign has been launched. KMC has already provided training to 500 households from Chaumati, Gongabu, Baneshwor, Sinamangal and Anamnagar area in the past.

Shrestha said the environment department is working to promote all Valley households to farm organic vegetables on their rooftops in near future. “We would have expanded this project in some other places, but due to the earthquake we had to cancel,” he added. KMC had started organic rooftop farming at the end of 2011 to explore greenery. It has also been giving the training of making compost manure at home segregating the waste materials coming out of the house.

Besides its health benefits, environmentalists believe that this farming will help to make a healthy city as solid waste management, which is a major problem of the city could be solved. Solid waste can be formed into compost waste for rooftop farming. On a daily basis, Kathmandu produces around 550 metric tons of waste and KMC is facing hard time to manage it.

Environmental experts say if rooftop farming flourishes rain water could be harvested, which is very helpful in improving the quality of the air in the city.

Published: 21-08-2015 10:36

More on this story

A two-day National Workshop for a 20-year Development Vision for Prosperous Nepal concluded here in Kathmandu on Thursday. The workshop discussed various development issues and youth’s contribution in nation building.

Youth leaders from both political and non-political background participated in the seminar, while experts in various fields presented papers on issues of reconstruction and disaster management, youth and empowerment, education, health, urban and rural settlement, agriculture, investment and economic policy, infrastructure, foreign policy, forest and ecosystem management, tourism, natural resources management, water resources and hydropower. (PR)

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