POST TIME: 1 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Community involvement for homestead gardening

Community involvement for homestead gardening

It is good to note that gardening around homesteads in both summer and winter seasons in Rajshahi including its vast Barind tract has been gaining popularity. Rajshahi Court Horticulture Centre (RCHC) has been playing a vital role in making the horticulture and homestead gardening sustainable as well as profitable in the region. Rajshahi, as the readers know is regarded as the country's most prospective fruit and vegetable-producing region and traditionally production of fruit and vegetables is one of the major income-generating activities in the region.

Unlike the West, kitchen or homestead gardening has only recently gained some acclaim in this country. The basic purpose of homestead gardening is to grow fresh and safe food in a healthy environment for personal and family use. And of course home gardening also turned out to be an economical approach. Homestead gardening can be done on a small scale in the backyard or front yard of a house and empty areas of the house like the terrace and the rooftop can be utilised for the purpose.

With the increase in population demand for fruits and vegetables is also increasing in the country. Besides, demand for Bangladeshi fruits and vegetables is high in foreign markets. There are scopes for growing vegetables on the small patches of lands and on the premises of dwelling houses. A significant number of people live in char areas of the country. They are detached from the mainstream development activities of the country. It is a welcome sign that they are improving their economic conditions by dint of their stringent efforts. Thousands of people living in char areas sit idle most of the times of the year. By engaging themselves in income-generating activities, particularly vegetable cultivation, they can improve their lot on the one hand and create employment opportunity for others.

Community involvement is crucial for sustainability of home gardening activities. The potential farmers should be trained in the cultivation of primarily indigenous vitamin-rich vegetables using low-cost, low-risk methods. They also should be taught processing and growing methods that optimize the nutritional value of foods. Apart from training, the concerned departments should take adequate measures to provide them seeds, seedlings and organic manure at subsidised rates. Interested people should be educated about the ill effects of chemical fertilisers on their food, soil and health and also train them on how to organically grow a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, medicinal plants and fruits in small spaces in and around their homes.