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India: Horti research center shows vertical farming for urban ag

The Arka vertical farming module, developed by the ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR), offers a novel approach to the problems associated with urban and peri-urban farming. Developed by Dr. Safeena S. A., Senior Scientist in the Division of Flower and Medicinal Crops at ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru, this innovative technology promises to transform agricultural practices in densely populated areas.

The Arka vertical garden structure, developed under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana 2022-23, addresses the limitations of space commonly encountered in urban settings. By utilizing vertical space within polyhouses, this structure maximizes yield while minimizing land requirements. Notably, the module boasts a remarkable increase in planting density and yield, particularly demonstrated with Lilium cultivation, where yields have surged by six times compared to traditional methods.

One of the most compelling aspects of the Arka vertical farming module is its sustainable design. By employing a soil-less medium and incorporating a self-watering mechanism, the structure optimizes resource utilization, ensuring efficient water usage and minimal wastage. Moreover, the module is cost-effective, making it accessible to urban farmers with limited financial resources.

The versatility of the vertical garden structure extends beyond its agricultural benefits. Designed to accommodate various types of plants, including vegetables, medicinal herbs, and flowers, it offers a multifunctional solution for diverse gardening needs. Whether placed in sunlit utility areas, balconies, or terraces, the structure provides an accessible platform for individuals keen on urban farming.


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