'I began working on the rooftop garden last year'
A private sector job holder has experienced success in Kushtia's Bheramara upazila by transforming his hobby of rooftop gardening into a viable source of income generation.
Asman Ali, who works as a coordinator at Jatiya Mohila Sangstha's Bheramara office, takes care of the rooftop garden and does all the work by himself, from planting to watering.
He told Dhaka Tribune that he became interested in the concept after watching a documentary about it on television last year.
Upon inspection by this correspondent, it was found that the rooftop garden, located in Bheramara's Taltala area, contained a row of plant pots, plastic sacks and drums of various sizes, all of which contained various leafy and watery vegetables, as well as herbal plants.
He has already begun to sell his produce of orange, malta, guava, chilli and eggplant.
"I began working on the rooftop garden last year," Asman recalls, "At the time I slowly began planting mango, sweet tamarind, pomegranate, cherry, lemon, naga chilli, spinach, mint, orange, malta, guava, chilli and eggplant. I also planted roses and morning glory to add a few flowers to my inventory."
He recalled purchasing orange, guava, mango and lemon plants from the 2018 National Tree Fair in Kushtia, which he planted in several drums.
"The subsequent plants were gradually purchased from local nurseries," Asman said, adding, "Before going to work, from as early as Fajr prayers, to getting back from work, I spend a significant amount of time nurturing my plants in the garden."
Not only does he use them in his family's meals, he also sends the excess to his other family members, with the intention of selling his produce in the near future.
According to experts, gardeners, and nursery owners, people—especially in cities—are looking for fresh and secure food.
They are growing vegetables and fruits as a shield against contaminated and adulterated food. Nowadays, rooftop gardening is gaining popularity as the awareness about organic farming is increasing, but the number of existing rooftop gardens is low compared to the benefits it can reap.