Roof-Top Farming In India

Via The Hindustan Times, an article on a program in India that encourages roof-top farming:

As part of Bihar government’s initiative to encourage roof-top farming in urban areas, horticulture department officials have begun work to identify 230 “suitable” roof tops for which applications have already been invited.

The key objective behind the initiative is to increase green cover in urban pockets of Bihar, apart from adding to the income of the urban population. As incentives, the state’s horticulture department is even offering 50 per cent subsidy on the entire cost of the roof top farming.

In the first leg of the ambitious project, it has decided to launch roof top farming in four districts of Gaya, Patna, Bhagalpur and Nalanda.

In Gaya, the process has already started. “We are getting an encouraging response. So far, 70 people have applied for rooftop farming in association with the horticulture department, which will provide them the know-how as well as seeds and other logistics for proper irrigation facilities,’’ assistant director at the horticulture department, Om Prakash Mishra, said.

Persons having not less than 300 square feet area on roof top would be eligible for the project, Mishra said.

As per estimates, the total cost for a single unit roof top farm of 300 square feet is Rs 50,000, of which the state government would share Rs 25,000. “The roof top farming would not only prove to be an additional income for urban people, but it would also ensure green cover across urban areas and maintain environmental balance against the onslaught of the global warming,’’ horticulture officials said.

Once selected, urban farmers would be provided adequate training. “We have also identified seeds and plants ideal for roof top farming. Initially, we have decided to grow vegetables and medicinal plants which would be further strengthened with ornamental plants to add to the beauty of the roof top farms,” Mishra said. During his recent visit to Gaya where more than 120 people died of heat wave this year, chief minister Nitish Kumar had held a review meeting here and stressed the need to ensure greenery across rural and urban areas.

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About This Blog And Its Author
As potential uses for building and parking lot roofspace continue to grow, unique opportunities to understand and profit from this trend will emerge. Roof Options is committed to tracking the evolving uses of roof estate – spanning solar power, rainwater harvesting, wind power, gardens & farms, “cooling” sites, advertising, apiculture, and telecom transmission platforms – to help unlock the nascent, complex, and expanding roofspace asset class.

Educated at Yale University (Bachelor of Arts - History) and Harvard (Master in Public Policy - International Development), Monty Simus has held a lifelong interest in environmental and conservation issues, primarily as they relate to freshwater scarcity, renewable energy, and national park policy. Working from a water-scarce base in Las Vegas with his wife and son, he is the founder of Water Politics, an organization dedicated to the identification and analysis of geopolitical water issues arising from the world’s growing and vast water deficits, and is also a co-founder of SmartMarkets, an eco-preneurial venture that applies web 2.0 technology and online social networking innovations to motivate energy & water conservation. He previously worked for an independent power producer in Central Asia; co-authored an article appearing in the Summer 2010 issue of the Tulane Environmental Law Journal, titled: “The Water Ethic: The Inexorable Birth Of A Certain Alienable Right”; and authored an article appearing in the inaugural issue of Johns Hopkins University's Global Water Magazine in July 2010 titled: “H2Own: The Water Ethic and an Equitable Market for the Exchange of Individual Water Efficiency Credits.”