SIGNIFICANCE OF KITCHEN GARDENING IN PANDEMIC


Introduction- What once used to be a matter of leisure work and fashion especially for the rich people, has now become a thing of essentiality for everybody. This is where kitchen gardening has positioned and shaped itself in today’s world. And the credit for this goes to the pandemic: COVID-19. Therefore in this stressful situation, kitchen gardening has emerged not only as an alternative to provide fresh food but has also supported the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people across the globe who are deprived of their job. Nevertheless it has not led to the breakage of food security.

Lockdown imposed by the governments and strict instructions regarding maintenance of hygiene by the World Health Organization (WHO) to avoid potential transmission of the virus through packaged food has created a huge problem for people to survive without outside support. Worse to this, the transportation system has so many obstructions with which it obviously cannot circulate the required biomass to this magnitude of population. On the other hand there are no mandis and markets available as of now. Therefore in such a catastrophic situation of existence we are left with no option other than growing and managing the food by the individuals on their own.

This is the time when kitchen gardening comes into the picture. Because by now kitchen gardening is not just a fashion or time pass like thing, it has now become a mode of survival, an option with no other options left and of course a way to sustain life itself. It is on the go, cheap, easy to access and a holistic method of food production. Also it is healthy and eco-friendly and thus reduces carbon footprints. On the other hand it utilizes kitchen’s waste ensuring cent percent organic food production, preventing land and air pollution which could otherwise have been polluted by their disposal. Also the products of the backyard are healthier, fresh and deprived of chemical fertilizers that one gets in the market during normal days. In the same way during kitchen gardening, entanglement with the earth helps to be fitter and healthier. According to some surveys and reports, it is suggested that working in the soil anywhere between one to two hours boosts our immunity by 37% which again is another benefit of gardening. Therefore kitchen gardening is a sustainable and cost effective method of food production which can be extended even after the lockdown to generate a healthy income.

Having said that, it has its own limitations. It needs regular care and involvement. Also it’s very difficult to generate a surplus amount of food to generate income through kitchen gardening. Since there is no use of pesticides and fertilizers in it, it’s tough to get rid of those damaging pests and diseases through organic methods. But nevertheless kitchen gardening is a boon for us and especially in this though situation when many people are dying of hunger.

Mr. Amit Kumar Yadav, M.Sc. (PBG)-II Sem., School of Agricultural Sciences, Career Point University, Kota

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