About Sudha Subedi:
Sudha Subedi is a founder/CEO of “Youth Legend” and has been providing leadership opportunities for youths since 2014. Being a young entrepreneur, she is also a certified life coach and an environmentalist. Sudha is also a Global Catalyst(consultant) in US based company, “International Connector” where she has worked in different projects with renowned companies like Microsoft(Youth Advisor), Institute for Future, Fortune 500 company – Stubhub etc.
All in all, Sudha is a person who is passionate about making a difference wherever she is. Recently she and her partner came up with a great initiative called “Sajilo Kaushi Kheti”. Through this article, I present you the conversations we had in an online interview regarding her new initiation.
How would you explain “rooftop farming” to someone who has little to no idea about it ?
To introduce, I would say that rooftop farming is a common practice done in the city areas specially by the urban dwellers to provide themselves with healthy organic fruits and vegetables.
In city areas the majority of the people are busy in day time jobs. So I would like to ask, Is part time effort sufficient for rooftop farming or does one have to give full time to it ?
As per my understanding, every living being requires a tad bit of care and attention. Even when you bring home an indoor plant that too needs your care. Moreover, I don't think rooftop farming is very time consuming. Yes, an individual has to invest an average 10-15 minutes per day to help the crops grow in a healthy way but one does not have to reschedule their day just because they are growing crops in their terrace. And with modern technology like drip irrigation systems, the effort required to do rooftop farming is much less.
Could you tell us about your organization and how it provides rooftop farming services?
Sajilo Kausi Kheti was started with the aim to promote sustainable cities and communities and to make rooftop farming easier and more convenient for those people who are willing to start their journey with rooftop farming. We provide different installation packages and all the products required for green roofs.
What inspired you to get into this field of work?
I was very much into healthy eating for the past couple of months and kausi kheti became a trend once the lockdown had started. And me and my partner decided why not to take the rooftop farming to another level and make kausi kheti a new cool in the town because it does have so many benefits. We can eat fresh fruits and vegetables grown in our very own terraces or balconies which are not drenched in harmful chemicals. We become more or less engaged in taking care of the crops which is proven to be very good for our mental health and also to top it off, people from all ages can be involved in this activity.
Does the weight of the soil on the roof affect the house construction in any way ?
I don’t think it is that much of an issue but you must also pay attention to how well constructed the house is. The traditional Nepali houses made out of the mud may not be suitable for green roofs with heavy drums and soil but as an alternative to that, we can install coco peats which are way less heavier than the soil.
Economically, do you think terrace farming costs less than actually buying the fruits and vegetables on the market ?
This is actually one of the most asked questions by the people and I must say this question crossed our mind too so when we researched about it we were shocked to know that terrace farming costs way less then buying vegetables daily. For obvious reasons, when you first start farming you have to spend money for the coco peats and the soil and for installing water pipes. However, if you think of it as investing your money for long term purposes, I don't think the money factor actually is that much of an issue.
What can cities hope to get from rooftop farming, and are there any already benefiting?
Yes, certainly rooftop farming has many benefits and one of the major benefits of urban agriculture is that it reduces a city's carbon footprint. It makes an individual self-dependent and moreover it also has many social, mental, economical and physical health benefits. Its benefit could easily be noticed during this pandemic as it turned out to be a solution to challenges facing the urban food supply chain amidst COVID-19.
What are the problems that people face when doing rooftop farming ? Do you have any solutions for the problems ?
There are no such major problems people face. The problems people usually face is controlling the pests and amending the soil but these problems are very minute. But I must say that when people first start rooftop farming they don't know what they are doing in the first go so they end up spoiling the crops. The solution to this is proper guidance from people who are experienced in this field, and that is the service our organization, “Sajilo Kausi Kheti” is trying to provide.