As part of its efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in vegetable production, the State government will promote the establishment of vertical gardens in urban areas and its suburbs where land availability is limited. The soil-less cultivation program is being promoted with technical support from the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The Department of Agriculture and the State Horticulture Mission, Kerala are part of the program to promote vertical vegetable gardens under the Union government-promoted Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.
The Horticulture Mission proposes to popularise the user-friendly Arka vertical garden structure designed and developed by IIHR for soil-less cultivation that will not only help gradually achieve self-sufficiency but also aid the production of safe-to-eat vegetables.
The basic component of an Arka vertical garden is a base frame spread over a sq. m. Each unit will be spread over four levels. There will be a 25-liter water holder at the top level to enable the watering of plants. The units will be popularised with government financial support. Each of the vertical garden structures will be accompanied by 16 pots, 80 kg of the growing medium as well as seeds of vegetables such as amaranthus, chili, palak, coriander, bhindi, and tomato, as well as materials for plant nutrient management and plant protection.
The Arka vertical garden structure can be moved with the help of the wheels fitted at the base to help the plants absorb sunlight.
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