KATHMANDU, Aug 2: Saili Thulung Rai, a resident of Chabahil, talks excitedly about the pleasure she gets from having vegetables grown on the top of her home. Her family enjoys organically grown vegetables at her own house at least once a month.
“It's not a daily feast. I engage in rooftop farming just out of my hobby,” she shared.
A large number of people in the Kathmandu Valley grow vegetables on their rooftop, with increasing number of residents eager to follow suit.
Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) Environment Management division has been pushing to expand rooftop farming in the Valley.
"The uncontrolled and rapid urbanization puts a lot of strain on of the Valley's environmental, ground water, land and its capacity to manage wastes," said Sanu Maya Maharjan, section officer at the KMC Environment Management Division said. "Using rooftops to grow vegetables could prove a viable alternative to supplement vegetables supply in the Valley."
“The demand for taking the training on rooftop farming has been growing consistently. But we have not been allocate enough time for it,” said Maharjan.
The KMC, which has been providing training to people interested in rooftop farming, has also started a pilot project along the Bishnumati corridor.
Civil engineers from KMC have been visiting homes to check whether the buildings are fit for rooftop gardening, Maharjan added.
“We tell all new trainees that rooftop farming requires house engineering,” said Maharjan.
While KMC, in collaboration with various NGOs such as United Youth Community Nepal and Clean Energy Nepal, has been promoting rooftop farming, some people take the initiation on their own.
“Back in my hometown, we have our own farm so having organic food was never a problem,” said Menuka Regmi, a temporary resident at Chabahil.
“But after moving to Kathmandu, I started growing vegetables on my terrace. Since I knew farming, I managed to do so without any trouble.”