The people of the Baroghil area in Pakistan have started growing different varieties of vegetables and cereals with the help of passive solar greenhouses.
Amin Jan Tajik said that the living standards and income of the people had improved since they started the new farming technique. He said almost 100% of the population had started farming this way to augment their income, as, situated at an altitude of about 13,000 feet, the normal growing season of the area is limited to about two months in a year, leaving the residents only with the choice of raising yaks and goats for their sustenance.
Mr. Tajik said the issue of extreme climate was solved with the introduction of solar greenhouses, where an ambient temperature for farming is maintained throughout the year.
The system was first introduced by Aga Khan Rural Support Program by establishing a number of demonstration plots, and the initiative’s success prompted the residents to simulate it with the result that the greenhouses could now be seen in every part of the valley comprising seven villages.
“The arrangement has worked tremendously as vegetables are grown inside the greenhouses during the extended winter season spanning over seven months,” he added.
“This has also improved nutritional levels of locals, who had nothing to eat other than meat and milk products as they were totally unfamiliar with vegetables, including tomato and onion. Now they have diversified their daily menu of food."
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