Fruit­ful Veg­etable Gar­den­ing

Enterprise - - GO GREEN -

As ev­i­dent af­ter the re­cent floods, the rich agri­cul­tural wealth of Pak­istan has been shat­tered. In the cur­rent sce­nario, to talk about self-suf­fi­ciency and lo­cal pro­duc­tion in food as the key goals may sound hard. But there are vi­able and work­able so­lu­tions be­ing im­ple­mented in most parts of the globe to fight hunger, cost hike and en­vi­ron­ment and veg­etable gar­den­ing is one of them.

There are mul­ti­ple rea­sons that call for veg­etable gar­den­ing ini­tia­tives. Price hikes lead the list, fol­lowed by poor main­te­nance of san­i­ta­tion stan­dards at veg­etable and fruit mar­kets and the ques­tion of eco­log­i­cal bal­ance.

Ini­tia­tives like the dis­tri­bu­tion of seeds and fer­til­iz­ers by the Euro­pean Union and FAO to the small scale farm­ers are per­ti­nent too. But for a col­lec­tive and on­go­ing green move­ment the ur­ban classes of so­ci­ety must put in a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort. The plan sketched out for the ru­ral farmer work­ing on com­mer­cial crops and pro­duc­ing sea­sonal crops at home can be adapted by ur­ban homes to add a di­verse or­ganic diet and achieve ef­fec­tive bud­get sav­ings, while pro­vid­ing green re­lief to the sur­round­ings.

The par­tic­i­pa­tion of the cash strapped ur­ban pop­u­lace will gen­er­ate a far pro­duc­tive im­pact. An av­er­age es­ti­mate of a typ­i­cal back­yard gar­den yield has come out to be about $2,000 (near to Rs. 170,000), vary­ing with the type of crops grown. The re­sul­tant sav­ing on gro­ceries and pro­duc­tion of in­come from the home-grown econ­omy would be sub­stan­tial.

This ef­fort does not de­mand any ex­pe­ri­ence or grand ar­range­ment. Not yards of land are re­quired, not even a sin­gle yard. Small patches of land would suf­fice for the needs of house­holds. Con­tain­ers and win­dow sills would even do if used aes­thet­i­cally. For the gar­den own­ers, fruits and veg­eta­bles would not spoil the look, if they are prop­erly main­tained.

Qual­ity home-grown toma­toes, turnips, spinach and peas may well fa­cil­i­tate, from the house­hold to the neigh­bour­hood, serv­ing as a sub­stan­tial mi­cro-busi­ness pro­ject. Ex­ten­sion projects for agri­cul­ture stu­dents at uni­ver­si­ties and sum­mer schools must fo­cus on veg­etable gar­den­ing in or­der to cul­ti­vate a lo­cal par­tic­i­pa­tory en­vi­ron­ment.

Plans for so­lar projects, re­place­ment of cool­ing and heat­ing sys­tems with green equip­ment and pur­chas­ing of or­ganic food may be on a de­layed task list due to eco­nomic is­sues, but if house­holds uti­lize the ben­e­fit of Pak­istan’s sea­sons and fer­til­ity for veg­etable gar­den­ing, a green life­style may not re­main a dream

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