Grow vegetables in vertical gardens and containers on saline soils

Photo credit: VOA News

A woman in Chandipur village in southwest Bangladesh shows seedlings she grows in pots.(Photo: A. Yee for VOA)

Vertical Gardens Help Bangladesh Farmers Overcome Salty Soil

by Amy Yee

EXCERPT

In Bangladesh, more land is becoming salty and unfit for growing crops. It’s a pressing problem in this densely-populated country where most people farm for a living. But even on saline land, villagers can grow bountiful “vertical gardens” from soil flushed by monsoon rains.

Vegetables grown in the salty soil fail; however, vegetable crops flourish in vertical gardens. Photo: A. Yee for VOA
Vegetables grown in the salty soil fail; however, vegetable crops flourish in vertical gardens. Photo: A. Yee for VOA

In Chandipur village in southwest Bangladesh, lush vines sprouting pumpkins and gourds cover the tin roofs of small homes. This bounty sprouts from an unlikely source: large plastic sacks on the ground and other containers.

Vertical gardening combating salty soil

But for three years, hundreds of villagers have grown “vertical gardens” – essentially vegetables grown from plastic sacks, giant containers made of plastic sheets and bamboo, as well as other receptacles.

Vegetables such as gourds grow in salty soil flushed by monsoon rains and collected in plastic sacks. (Photo: A. Yee for VOA)
Vegetables such as gourds grow in salty soil flushed by monsoon rains and collected in plastic sacks. (Photo: A. Yee for VOA)

Most of Bangladesh is at or below sea level, so the country is highly vulnerable to climate change. Storm surges in coastal areas add to the problem of increasing salinity.

More than half of coastal areas are affected by salinity, which makes land less productive.

This is a pressing concern for densely populated Bangladesh, which has 156 million people. Vertical gardens are one simple way that people can adapt to climate change and grow food.
WorldFish Center, an international non-profit, introduced vertical gardens in Bangladesh.

 

Read the full article: Voice of America

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