Who said one could be a farmer only if one has acres of land?
Once upon a time, this might have been true, but, in recent times, the breed of urban farmers in India is burgeoning due to the growing interest in agriculture.
With urban residences come space limitations, which may seem like a huge concern to a budding urban farmer, but with scores of innovative solutions coming up every other day, it is the least of your worries!
So how about revamping your indoors, or terraces to grow your veggies and fruits organically? Or even better, rent a plot where you can farm?
If you have been putting off scratching that farming itch of yours, deterred by your ‘preconceived’ urban constraints, we have a list of startups that would help you become an urban organic farmer, right in your city!
It is completely fine if you have no prior knowledge in farming; these folks will not only run you through the basics but also guide you along the journey.
Located across the country, here are five startups that will hone the inner farmer in you, and help you embrace the agrarian life, right in the middle of a city.
Based in Hyderabad, this startup has been turning the city residents into urban farmers by setting up modular vegetable gardens on their rooftops. Space had been a major worry, but Manivitha Reddy, Homecrop’s founder, arrived at a solution inspired by the Cuban system of organopónicos.
Homecrop offers urban farming units, measuring 15 sq ft, which can be set up to grow a variety of regular and exotic vegetables and herbs.
You can read more about them here.
Started by Mumbai-based Priyanka Amar Shah, iKheti is an urban farming enterprise that facilitates farming among city dwellers through workshops, consultancy and gardening resources.
From selling seeds and DIY kits to offering consulting services on composting and kitchen gardening, the startup trains people in the art of growing their food through a no-chemical approach.
Know more about iKeti here.
A Chandigarh-based green company, this startup offers solutions for growing vegetables and herbs at homes without soil! How do they do this? By scaling down large structures and making small fungible, Lego-like structures that can be installed in a modular fashion as per need.
Through hydroponic do-it-yourself (DIY) kits that come in varying sizes, and are supplemented with replacement nutrients, organic seeds and inert mediums, Pindfresh provides you with everything that you need to start growing your own produce.
Read more about them here.
Integrating the concept of ‘In My Backyard’ in sustainable farming, this Hyderabad-based hydroponics startup lets you grow fresh produce including lettuce, herbs, greens and exotic vegetables round the year. And these can be grown anywhere – from rooftops to balconies.
The brainchild of 25-year-old Vihari Kanukollu, UrbanKissan offers a range of model kits ranging from 18 to 36 plants. The kit consists of seeds, coconut waste and a mix of nutrients.
Interested? You can check more on this enterprise here.
5. Indian Superheroes
Remember Farmville, the farming simulation social network game that allowed people to ‘harvest’ crops or visit the farms of their ‘neighbours’? This Coimbatore-based social enterprise does exactly that—only in the real world!
Indian Superheroes or ISH is allowing urban dwellers to become farmers by renting patches of organic farms to grow, and harvest your crops, with guidance from seasoned organic farmers!
The rental duration for the organic farms ranges from one to six months, which may be extended, based upon your interest. Apart from growing your crops and harvesting them, you can even make money by selling your farm produce.
You can find more about ISH here.
You may also like: Organic Farming in India: 5 Challenges On The Journey Ahead & The Way Out
We hope this list helped you. If you know of any similar organisations or individuals helping set up urban organic farms, do mention them in the comments.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)