Urban Farming encouraged by A.P. Government

It look like a long time since I posted in this blog. The habit of writing posts becomes more and more distant, when one is busy with other events, like weddings, guests, happy exhaustion, in that order.A lot has been happening, some of which I will share, in a descending order. This post about an Urban Garden meet we had today.

On March 10th I received a mail in my Intipanta group , Hyderabad, informing us about the proposed plans of our Horticultural Department , Govt. of A.P.An excerpt from Sakshi newspaper.

Intipanta 9-3-2013 sakshi

I was not in Hyderabad , and did not have a PC access. I let it pass, with my usual disinterest.The horticultural department did have a meeting some months back, calling us at the last-minute to attend. It was all very good to hear those speeches and power point presentations,announcing that the Department will supply know how and materials for encouraging Urban terrace gardens with minimum requirements, and some authorities will come for inspection once we obtain the help from the department. However, I was disappointed to know that HUDA authorities will not carry out the greening Urban Terraces in my area since it is a few meters out of the city. I promptly lost interest.

Another friend from the group called me , last week, while I was away asking whether I am joining in the proposed scheme of the Horticultural Department. He explained that one has to pay Rs.1200/ and register the name, and receive the kit and materials on the appointed day.It no longer mattered where we are located. Eager to know more about the govt’s offer, I collected more information from other enthusiasts. Of course skepticism is part of dealing with any agencies, and we had more questions about what are they offering, only red mud, any vermi/compost? . How many litres of neem oil etc .The established gardeners who are using cocopeat and other lighter media were not showing much interest in the offer, which looked barest minimum.

To satisfy my curiosity, I decided to go and see for myself what it was all about. When I did reach the venue at Horticultural Department Training institute, I was surprised to see a number of people seated in the lawn and power point presentations were going on in full swing with a backdrop announcing the Scheme and Minister’s participation. I was also happy to see many women in the audience ,and were showing lots of interest. Questions were posed and answered promptly.

2013-03-15 12.08.192013-03-15 12.08.002013-03-15 12.05.562013-03-15 12.05.202013-03-15 12.05.132013-03-15 12.05.08

Meanwhile, I met our group of friends , who had already registered their applications. First I was asked to register with my photograph, and an Id proof , with a xerox copy. I paid Rs.1200/ and was given a receipt. Water tea and snacks were distributed freely. Lunch too was offered.

We were to be supplied the following:

14 bags of red soil

1 bag of neem cake

2 bottles of neem oil,

one kit containing a sprayer, cutter , hose shower, and a small hoe.

4 huge grow bags.

Lots of seeds of local varieties.

We had to make our own arrangements to pick up the bags and the handout. That set off a confusion, since many of us did not know how to procure a pick up trolley.But there are always helping persons nearby, who could give us contact number of people prepared to haul those bags to our distant homes.

This arrangement or lack of it, was not welcomed by many , who voiced their concerns that the Department could have arranged the stuff to be delivered at home, and charged extra for the transport. There were concerns about use of those heavy red soil on the Terrace. Many people requested the department to supply good quality cocopeat too , if they wanted to popularize the scheme.

There was confusion over the distribution which started near about lunch time. It was getting warm, people were crowing around the staff, making them jittery. Some of the men were not very gentle, they were shouting for their turn to be first. Forming a queue is not in our Hdyerabaadi blood, so you can imagine all age groups scrambling and asking for immediate redressal.

There was another problem too, the kit was distributed at one place and the red soil etc, was to be hauled from another. The kit was not easy to hold and walk about, and I had difficulty in hauling it to the other building. The trolleys , cars were required to be placed near the mountain of bags, to enable the helpers load. More confusion and shouting matches, were ensured. We had to wait patiently till the staff were ready to address us. They were pretty professional about loading the stuff, but the public was not co-operative.

It was an exciting and tiring experience. But for my love of gardening,I would not have ventured in such mela. Luckily , our young trolley driver tried his best to help everyone. Finally we loaded our stuff and I sat in a trolley for the first time in Hyderabad, and enjoyed the bumpy ride. 🙂

The bags are lying in my front yard, and I am happy that I went for the meet. It is a small beginning, but first time in A.P. such effort is made by the Government. They are trying to extend this subsidy programme to another session too, next week.

I have not calculated the cost of the operation, or the value of subsidy. I had trouble locating red-soil and have been scouting for a good one since weeks. I also appreciated the effort of the officials who were eager to start the plan. The effort of the Minister, govt. officials and the media in providing this facility , itself is a good start for Hyderabad city. My only problem was that this event has not been covered in English press, media, but only in Telugu. This is a cosmopolitan city and this programme deserves to reach as many people as possible.

As a byline, I was interviewed by Sakshi Telugu newspaper, CTC TV and E-TV. If any of you found me in their footage, kindly let me know :-))

About gardenerat60

As you guessed, I am a retired executive, looking for hobbies. Stumbled into gardening after reading blogs. Always wanted to use eco-friendly items in daily life. So, there was no heistation in deciding to put the vast terrace balcony to use for organic garden.
This entry was posted in farming. organic, Hyderabad, Intipanta, organic garden, Sakshi news., terrace garden, Urban Farming and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Urban Farming encouraged by A.P. Government

  1. Well a little bit of bureaucracy is to be expected from any govt. scheme. Good thing is they are trying to popularize home gardening. I also second they could have charged a bit more and delivered at home..

  2. What a wonderful idea!

  3. Excellent initiative by the Govt, this time. I wonder what’s the TN Govt. is doing on this? Other state govt. needs to follow the example set by the AP govt. but they should allow people to decide on what they need (quantity, etc.). One bag fits all approach is not a efficient way of doing things. But still, the initiative is appreciable…

    Destination Infinity

  4. It sounds like a wonderful handout, if a bit unwieldy! I like to hear of the effort on the part of the government, and as you say, with your love of gardening you made quite an effort, too! Glad you’ve been preoccupied with happy things! I can relate to happy exhaustion! 🙂

  5. Vidya Sury says:

    What a wonderful initiative, Pattu! I yearn for a few pots in my verandah but don’t know how to keep the pigeons away. They make such a mess and in addition to that they destroy the plants. 😦 I am eagerly looking forward to more photos of your terrace garden!

  6. This is great news, Pattu! We should appreciate the govt. for taking so much pain and sincerely distributings things. People like you who love gardening, will definitely show them the result, which should be publicised again. Then more and more people will start taking interest! I am an adimirer of your terrace garden! Good to know you, Pattu!

    • gardenerat60 says:

      Sandhya, Thanks a lot for your lovely words. Yes, I wish many retired people will use their terrace for growing some plants, but many are glued to TV and movies!

  7. My Say says:

    Wow ! Some govt is taking initiatives after Sikkim for promoting organic farming only ?thats a great news ma’m ! 🙂
    its time all state govts along with the central govt promote terrace gardening in Urban India !! a few days back I was watching on discovery , how Bangkok is working on its idea of terrace farming to meet the buildings food-ing needs , at least , a few vegs ! India needs to at least promote gardening for its cities where pollution is at its peak and we need it real badly …. talk about any developing city , the population is soaring fast and the greenery is detoriating faster !!

  8. umashankar says:

    That sounds like a typical government initiative. Nevertheless, remembering your old posts redolent with flowers and greenery, I am sure a verdant terrace awaits me in future!

    • gardenerat60 says:

      Thanks Umashankarji. Yeah, I need to grow goo d stuff this season, just after our severe heat ends( June). Till then it is plotting and planning only :-(.

  9. ranjani135 says:

    Looking forward to more of your terrace garden with a new zeal!

  10. vishalrathod76 says:

    Well Your posts are really informative . A good initiative by AP govt.
    Travel India

  11. matheikal says:

    So close to nature, as usual, from you.

  12. That is a good initiative from the Govt.
    But you had to struggle with the bags.

    Let me know if i can join and help you with the bags as well. :)!
    And a chance to meet you again.

    My id: mainnivedita@gmail.com 🙂

  13. indrani says:

    Interesting event. I never get time to attend such functions. Hope I will be more free soon.

  14. It is really surprising to hear about a Government scheme of this kind as they are not only known to do populist things. Look forward to your experiments and how you used the things that you got. I am wondering if red soil is essential?

    • gardenerat60 says:

      a good initiative. Hope they keep the momentum alive. Yes, I will start once again afresh, after summer.

      I agree, red soil is not really required for Terraces. I was hunting for good red soil, since we have ground floor area too, which needed some refreshing.

      In organic terrace gardening, for the amount of natural stuff we used, red soil addition helps the plant in absorbing those stuff, and also give a good produce.

      If the building is strong , and roof does not have leakage problems, red soil use is more cheaper. Many of our fellow gardeners in Hyderabad use only soil.

  15. Srinivas says:

    I have read your articles, they are good and informative. Recently even I have attended AP Horticultural show. I gathered some information about terrace gardening. I am planning to start growing crops on terrace but I dont have enough knowledge and raw materials etc..Can you please guide me where to get good quality raw materials in hyderabad and also how to get trained in maintaining crops and garden.

    • gardenerat60 says:

      Hi Sirinvas, welcome to my blog. I am glad that you are interested in gardening. Please join our Google group. facebook group Intipanta. /You will get loads of guidance from our members and you may find a few near your home too. Let me know , if you have any difficulties.

  16. KVVS MURTHY says:

    Anyway you back with an informative photo story …Missed you all these days Pattu garu..!

  17. Sushmitha says:

    Its not just the A.P Govt to be appreciated for this, more than that its your love for gardening has to be appreciated.. Despite all barriers , you have done it.. Wondering how I missed this blog as a nature admirer so far.. I have just now gone through your My clutter, My life blog.. Happy to be here in this blog 🙂


  18. Confusions are inherent quality of any bureaucratic endeavour owing to their lack of planning but still the initiative is praiseworthy. Your enthusiasm for gardening is laudable indeed.

  19. mpuppal says:

    Happy to see you back after a long hiatus.Waiting for the beautiful pictures of your terrace garden. Cheers for your sustained efforts!

  20. It is heartening to know that a govt is actually taking all this trouble to encourage gardening.

    • gardenerat60 says:

      Thanks Induji!. The department is responding to our Initpanta group discussions, which is a welcome in itself. The officials are trying their best to help!

  21. Rajesh says:

    Interesting event. Good to see some beginning has been done.

  22. Sudha says:

    Hello Ma’am 🙂 You have been nominated for Liebster Award, here: http://thelidislifted.blogspot.in/2013/03/more-love-coming-my-way.html
    Congrats! Keep up the good work 🙂

  23. Jeevan says:

    Glad the government supports the gardeners there. Except the lack of facilities to carry stuffs, it sounds like a well organized program to aid gardeners. Hope there are more event to enhance gardening everywhere to turn green.

  24. Hi pattu! My grand parents have their own house with a tterrace. They want to have a terrace garden. But we do not know how to start, whom to consult… can you kindly give any information… will be eagerly waiting for your response…

  25. Dilip says:

    Encouraging to see the number of people who attended. Yes procedures need to simplified! We to have this problem of carrying the stuff up to our vehicles. The organizers should invite suggestions from the gardening enthusiast.

  26. Kaivi says:

    I am a balcony gardener in New Delhi and a first timer to your blog. Enjoyed it throughout. Is there a way to join you on friend connect.

  27. Very informative post on the initiatives taken by the Horticultural Department of AP. Though I do not have the physical strength left to engage myself in such activities, I do love gardening. I never thought of moving upwards i.e. to the terrace as we have adequate ground space at my native place. I remember visiting your blog or one of your earlier visits on my blog long time back. “Pattu” instantly brought back my childhood memories of a nice Pattu Mami in our neighbourhood when we were at a place known as Jagdalpur (Bastar). మా అదృష్టం మీరు వచ్చేరు.

    • gardenerat60 says:

      Sir, It is a pleasure to read your blogs. So much information and beauty of our dear country. I am so happy to see your comments.

      Having a ground space is a gift, to be cherished with plants. You are lucky.

      We have space, but have trees that are part of our home. We cant cut them, till now. So we use terrace, which is a blessing too.

      Oh.. Jagaldalpur, I wish I can visit those places. Never went to central India. A regret. Loved your comments sir. Thanks.

  28. Rohan Nair says:

    https://www.facebook.com/PoliticsaLoveAffair happen to come across your blog, really loved the content, I do have a facebook page where in discuss similar things related to politics and national affairs,it would be great if you could like it and be a part of it…

  29. cv says:

    Pattu garu,
    Do you know if we can buy seeds/plants/potting mix in public gardens, Hyd?
    Please help.

    • gardenerat60 says:

      Till recently we could buy. Now there seems to be some shifting problems, they have not brought any new plants. Kindly check up with the dept. by phone.

  30. cv says:

    Thanks for your help 🙂
    Will call them up.

  31. Hey Thats good news, good idea

  32. HI, I wish I was there to have a feel of those interesting things

  33. Asha Ram says:

    Super cool! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  34. Summer says:

    Sweet you,

    I’ve an award for you, for the person who you are and the things you share with the world

    Thank you for that..

    Namasté, Summer

  35. sagar says:


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