Kitchen gardening needs resurrection
June 23rd, 2012 | Technology Times | No Comments
SHOWING A mature approach towards overcoming the rising fears of food security, triggered by the climate change factors like floods, droughts and environmental degradation, the Punjab government in year 2011 had launched with fanfare a kitchen gardening project in urban areas with allocating a big chunk of Rs. Rs 24.18 million. Though a high level of spirit was displayed at that time by giving training to 168 master trainers from the agriculture department and issuing directives to achieve physical targets through availability of cheap quality pesticides and free organic vegetables for the people, yet at a later stage all this evaporated and in the year 2011 this initiative proved to be a big flop. Numerous factors like delayed delivery of subsidised seed packets to cultivators living in urban areas bode worst forcing the provincial government to shelve the programme which, if implemented, could have been a contributor towards significantly meeting the vegetables needs of urban areas to some extent. This height of mismanagement on the part of the Punjab Agriculture Department regarding its failure to sell the required seeds within the stipulated time sprang discouraging signals thus letting the huge allocated amount go down the drain. Amid the fears of food security and regularly increasing the prices of vegetables especially in urban areas of Pakistan, kitchen gardening has emerged as the best possible solution to his problem. This is not only a cheap source of essential nutrients but it also creates more employment opportunities than that of growing other crops. Kitchen gardening is an old idea whose time has come…once again. This option can not only improve the vegetables production but also contribute towards lessening the ratio of pollutant elements in atmosphere – a big challenge the country is presently confronted with. However, just one thing needs consideration that what a gardener can use – like pesticides and fertilizers – in his/her garden can not only impact the food, but also wash into nearby waterways, contaminating drinking water, swimming water and habitat for fish and other aquatic animals. However, the fresh studies and practical experiments in other countries give solid reasons to substantiate that these negative elements can be controlled quite easily. These states are significantly getting benefits of their kitchen gardening as it would increase environmental beauty and income of the growers as well. Punjab possesses wider fertile lands. The provincial government needs to reshuffle its priorities regarding agriculture sector especially the kitchen gardening in order to overcome the issue of regular reduction in per acre yields and again give a strong stir to this halted initiative at least on experimental basis by establishing a number of farm houses. This would certainly deliver encouraging the authorities to continue with this initiative in future.
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