Shopian farmer inspired by online video starts rooftop farming

Shopian farmer inspired by online video starts rooftop farming
Rashid, a well-heeled apple orchardist from the area converted the rooftop of his around 1500 square feet into a terrace garden, growing a host of vegetable varieties and seedlings.GK Photo

The two storied house of Haroon Rashid located in Vehil village of South Kashmir's Shopian district has become the cynosure of all eyes for its rooftop being decorated with hundreds of plastic cases holding different kinds of vegetables and seedlings.

GK Photo

Rashid, a well-heeled apple orchardist from the area converted the rooftop of his around 1500 square feet into a terrace garden, growing a host of vegetable varieties and seedlings.

According to Rashid, it all started with a YouTube video on one fine evening in 2017.

"My son showed me a video where I saw how people in land strapped areas are taking to terrace farming", says Rashid.

Although Rashid owns fairly enough land, he was tempted to terrace farming upon watching the video.

"I began with growing some conventional varieties of vegetables", he says.

He said that he used the organic fertilizers and the yield took him aback.

" It was much higher than what I had expected".

Next year Rashid took advice from the Department of Agriculture and grew both the conventional and exotic varieties of different vegetables using vermicompost.

" Today I grow as many as 30 varieties of different vegetables and seedlings on my roof top", Rashid said.

One could see cherry tomatoes, broccoli, brinjal and many other vegetable varieties lying in different vertical rows on Rashid's rooftop.

The terrace farming fetches Rashid Rs 10000 to Rs15000 monthly.

"I sold around 100 Kgs of cherry tomatoes and 80 to 90 kgs of broccoli this year", Rashid said.

This year Rashid introduced sweet corn and kiwi seedlings and is expecting a good harvest.

Rashid said that he did not need to go to market to sell his produce as the consumers themselves buy it from his rooftop.

"As soon as the vegetables are ready for harvest, consumers make a beeline for my house", Rashid said.

He said that rooftop farming was an easy and cheap type of farming.

" You could use empty jars, pots or even egg trays for cultivating the vegetables", said Rashid.

He said that people living in cities where farmland was not available could go for this kind of farming.

Satish Sharma, Chief Agriculture Officer Shopian said that it was a successful experiment by the farmer.

"All the varieties are purely organic", he said.

He added that the department provides him seeds and all technical advice.

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