An interaction with aromatic crop-growing farmers was conducted under CSIR-Aroma Mission Phase-II at CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu today. Dr. Jitendra Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State for S&T, Earth Sciences (Independent Charge), was Chief Guest of the program. The program was attended by Shri. Navin Kumar Chaudhary, Principal Secretary to Government of J&K, Dr. J.P. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, SKAUST, Jammu, Dr. Raghav Langer, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr. K.K. Sharma, Director Agriculture, Jammu, Dr. Mahendra Darokar, Sr. Principal Scientist, CSIR-HQ.
While addressing the farmers, Dr. Jitendra Singh, the chief guest, complimented IIIM and other CSIR labs for the successful implementation of the Aroma Mission. He stressed the collaboration between various stakeholders, including scientific institutions, state machinery, industry, entrepreneurs, and FPOs. By giving examples of the success stories of the farmers, he emphasized that the Government is providing a conducive environment for the farmers to become job givers rather than job seekers. He interacted with beneficiaries of Aroma Mission, including Shri. Bharat Bhushan from Bhaderwah, Doda, Shri. Touqeer Bagban, Bhaderwah, Doda, Shri. Ajay Sharma from Kahua, Shri. Sandeep Razdan from Jammu, Shri. Gyan Chand from Dhar Manpur, Kathua, and Ms. Mitali from Jammu. The minister also flagged off the quality planting material of Lemongrass provided by CSIR-IIIM for farmers of Kathua and Udhampur districts through the Agriculture Department. On this occasion, besides the technical session, a song in “Bhaderwahi” was released by Dr. Jitendra Singh to showcase the success story of Lavender cultivation in Jammu under CSIR-Aroma Mission. The song is made by Darpan Production for CSIR-IIIM Jammu.
Earlier in his address, Dr. D Srinivasa Reddy, Director, CSIR-IIIM, Jammu, welcomed the guests and briefly introduced CSIR-Aroma Mission and other research activities of CSIR-IIIM Jammu. He said that the CSIR-IIIM would ensure the progress of farmers and entrepreneurs through scientific and technological interventions. He said the CSIR-IIIM is reaching out to the farmers in close collaboration with the state administration and the local agricultural universities.
Dr. Sumeet Gairola, Nodal Scientist, CSIR-Aroma Mission, gave a presentation on the introduction, achievements, and future of the CSIR-Aroma Mission. He explained how the CSIR-Aroma Mission is transforming the lives of farmers in Doda through Lavender cultivation. He also informed that the success of Lavender cultivation in Doda under CSIR-Aroma Mission is now being popularly referred to as the “Purple revolution in Jammu.”
Prof. J.P. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, SKAUST, Jammu, emphasized that the Government is now focussing on increasing productivity and value addition. Shri. Navin Kumar Chaudhary, Principal Secretary to Government of J&K, Agriculture Production & Farmers Welfare Department, detailed the schemes of the state agriculture department and urged the farmers to take full advantage of the schemes.
Dr. Dhiraj Vyas, Principal Scientist and Head Plant Sciences presented the vote of thanks while and Ms. Aditi conducted the proceedings. The program was attended by more than 100 farmers and entrepreneurs engaged in the Aroma industry from different districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Several senior scientists and HODs of CSIR-IIIM, including D.M. Mondhe, Abdul Rahim, Zabeer Ahmed, G.D Singh, Asha Chaubey, Scientists of the Plant Sciences & Agrotechnology Division, were also present.