Mar 26, 2023
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, today in the 99th Edition of Mann ki Baat, appreciated the efforts of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research- Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (CSIR-IIIM) in supporting farmers in the cultivation of Lavender in the Bhaderwah, Doda district, J&K under CSIR-Aroma Mission. He said, “Farmers had been engaged in traditional maize cultivation for decades, but some farmers thought of doing something different. They turned to floriculture, that is, the cultivation of flowers. Today, around two and a half thousand farmers are cultivating Lavender here. They have also been handheld through the Aroma Mission of the Central Government. This new cultivation has greatly increased the income of the farmers.”
The CSIR-Aroma Mission is a flagship project of CSIR under which Lavender cultivation is being promoted in the temperate regions of J&K. The aim of the project is to increase the income of small and marginal farmers and develop agriculture-based Startups. The project is being directly monitored by Dr. Jitendra Singh, Hon’ble Union Minister of State (IC) of the Ministry of Science & Technology. Under his directions, CSIR-IIIM is implementing Lavender cultivation in Bhaderwah and other parts of J&K.
It is important to mention that over many decades of scientific interventions, the CSIR-IIIM has developed its elite variety (RRL-12) and agrotechnology of Lavender. The variety of Lavender is highly suitable for cultivation in the rainfed temperate regions of India. Under CSIR-Aroma Mission, CSIR-IIIM introduced Lavender and provided more than 30 Lakh free Lavender plants to the farmers of different districts of J&K. CSIR-IIIM has installed fifty distillation units (45 fixed and five mobile) at different locations across J&K to support farmers in processing their produce.
Many small and marginal maize farmers in the temperate regions of the Jammu division have successfully adopted Lavender. Lavender cultivation has employed large numbers of farmers and young entrepreneurs in the geographically remote regions of J&K. Due to the intervention of CSIR-IIIM, a new industry around Lavender cultivation has developed in the region. More than 2500 farmers are cultivating Lavender in different parts of J&K. Women are primarily employed in the Lavender fields for harvesting and processing the flower, which has increased women’s income in the region. Many young entrepreneurs have started small-scale businesses through the value addition of Lavender oil, hydrosol, and flowers. CSIR-IIIMhas been conducting many skill development programs and trained more than 2500 farmers and young entrepreneurs from J&K on Lavender cultivation, processing, value addition, and marketing.
The net annual income of farmers who switched from maize to Lavender cultivation has increased many folds from around Rs. 40,000/- to Rs. 60,000/- per hectare to Rs. 3,50,000/- to Rs. 6,00,000/- per hectare. Farmers of the Bhaderwah, Doda district have produced 300, 500, 800, and 1500 Litres of Lavender oil in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively. They have earned crores in between 2018-2022 by selling dry flowers, Lavender plants, and Lavender oil. The successful end-to-end technology transfer on the cultivation of Lavender to the farmers of J&K by CSIR-IIIM, Jammu, under Aroma Mission has been widely covered nationally and internationally by print and electronic media. The media has recognized this initiative of CSIR-IIIM as the “Purple Revolution.” CSIR-IIIM received the CSIR award for S&T innovations for rural development (CAIRD- 2020) for Purple Revolution in Jammu & Kashmir: Rural Development Through Lavender Cultivation in J&K.
Dr Zabeer Ahmed, Director CSIR-IIIM Jammu while congratulating Aroma Mission Team has stressed to take this Mission to another level with end-to-end technology packages for cultivation, processing, value addition, and marketing of the Lavender crop in sync with dream of Hon. Prime Minister for Doubling of Farmers Income. Dr Zabeeradvised his team of scientists to expand the cultivation of Lavender to other states having similar agroclimatic conditions In Phase-3 of Aroma Mission and stressed on product development, which shall be pivotal in inclusive economic development of region in sync with Hon. Prime Minister’s idea of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Courtsey: AIR for Video Clip from 99th Edition of Mann ki Baat by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi.