SRINAGAR: COVID-19 and imposed lockdowns have taught us many tough and good lessons in the life. It taught us how to spend precious time with elders, children at home and how to replace lawns and flower pots into kitchen gardens to get fresh and chemical & pesticides-free vegetables. The trend of Kitchen Garden in Kashmir is at new heights, as a number of young boys and girls are very much interested in it while Agriculture Department of Kashmir is also taking many steps to promote the trend in Kashmir, for making people of Valley self-sufficient in vegetable sector.Earlier in March and April this year, when COVID-19 was on its peak, the inhabitants of Srinagar city replaced flower-beds with Kitchen Gardens to grow vegetables like Pumpkins, Brinjal, Tomatoes, Spinach and Collard Greens, as an effort to overcome shortage of essentials amid imposed lockdown. Since vegetables are an essential part of daily-diet, every individual is concerned about its supplies, freshness and quality. In Kitchen gardening, vegetables can be grown in houses to meet, either in full or in parts, family requirements seasonally or throughout the year.Agriculture Department is also keen to promote kitchen garden culture, with the department organising seedling distribution camps quite often for Kitchen garden lovers. Director Agriculture Kashmir, Chowdhary Mohammad Iqbal has directed the department to organise more and more camps for distribution of vegetable seedlings at Kitchen Garden Centre, Lal Mandi Srinagar.During a seedling distribution camp, Director Agriculture Kashmir, Chowdhary Mohmmad Iqbal, while interacting with vegetable growers and kitchen garden lovers, said that the Department is committed to provide quality seedlings to vegetable growers so that they could use available resources properly and contribute to overall vegetable production. He further said that kitchen gardening is becoming a healthy trend in urban agriculture and people are adopting it nowadays with open-arms. “Department is implementing a plan where seedlings of different vegetable crops will be made available to the farmers round the year and this initiative has been started in all the districts of Kashmir Division,” he informed.Expressing satisfaction over the new healthy trend, various Agriculture Experts have said that kitchen gardening is a multi-dimensional venture wherein on one hand vegetables grown in kitchen gardens are mostly organic as people do not use chemical fertilizers at homes while on the other hand it can promote agriculture among younger generations and students as a good source of livelihood, especially for unemployed educated youth.
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