Malappuram Alathurpadi native Mehboob has proved that cultivating a vegetable garden on rooftops can make a good harvest. Amidst many limitations, he has set up a vegetable garden on the terrace and produced vegetables for daily use at home.
In Mehboob’s house, onion and potato are the only vegetables which he purchased from the market. His vegetable garden yields variety of crops, including bitter gourd, ladies finger, tomato, green chili, capsicum, snake gourd, carrot, brinjal, pumpkin and ivy gourd.
Mehboob, a contractor, has decided to cultivate vegetables on the terrace as his plot was covered by big trees.
He got training on the poly house from Malappuram Agriculture office and wick irrigation (Thiri Nana) from Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), Kozhikode.
In the initial phase, he took 25 grow bags for farming and now various vegetables are being cultivated in more than 140 grow bags. He extended the vegetable farming by arranging a poly house in 4 cents of land.
A beam in half a metre was constructed on the terrace for the purpose. Bricks were laid in two lines and a pine in 4 inches connected with it. Grow bags were placed on the bricks.
Plants like bitter gourd, snake gourd and pumpkin were planted near the parapet wall. Tomato, green chili, capsicum, ladies finger, brinjal, cabbage, and carrot were planted in the middle.
Pipe for wick irrigation was connected with a water tank. Hybrid seeds bought from Bengaluru was used for farming.
According to Mehboob, anyone can cultivate vegetables on the terrace if they can spend 50 minutes in the morning and evening.
He uses organic fertilizers which are used commonly for farming. An organic pesticide made from the tobacco leaves is used for pest control.
Mehboob harvests a good amount of vegetables for household use from this organic farming.
His wife Sarafunnisa and three children namely Ibrahim, Mahshuda Banu and Muhammad Saleef support him in the farming.
Mehboob as an ordinary man proves that if we have the interest in agriculture and determined for it we can easily set up a farm and make a good harvest.