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How Lavender Cultivation started in Jammu and Kashmir?

How Lavender Cultivation started in Jammu and Kashmir?

In Jammu and Kashmir, farmers have abandoned traditional maize cultivation and started growing lavender flowers. It is proving to be relatively more beneficial to them. It is called the beginning of the ‘Purple Revolution’.

In a meeting yesterday, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Jitendra Singh reviewed the cultivation of lavender in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said that farmers are taking up commercial-scale lavender cultivation as it is profitable agriculture, and Doda district would be rated as a role model in lavender cultivation in the country.

Source: Unsplash/Annie Spratt

Lavender in 20 J&K districts

Lavender cultivation, which was introduced to Jammu and Kashmir in 2007 as an experiment to help farmers switch to more profitable crops, is now showing revolutionary results. A group of farmers in the region were selected for a trial program in which they were given 2-3 canals of land to grow lavender.

These initiatives, along with the enthusiasm of farmers, have fueled lavender plantings in the Bhaderwah region, a growth coined the “Purple Revolution.” There are currently over 200 acres of land devoted to Lavender cultivation in the region, which is projected to double by the end of the year.

Lavender cultivation is practised in almost all twenty J&K districts, while Kashmir has recently taken over this prestigious crop, Particular districts that have made substantial progress in this area include Kathua, Udhampur, Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar, Rajouri, Srinagar, Pulwama, Kupwara, Bandipora, Budgam, Ganderbal, Anantnag, Kulgam and Baramulla.

Source: Unsplash/Antony BEC

Lavender farming has changed the fortunes of J&K farmers under the ‘Mission Scent or Purple Revolution,’ a central government initiative to transform the lives of the UT farming community.

What is the Purple Revolution?

Purple Revolution (lavender cultivation) was launched under the Aroma Mission of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology.

At J&K, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu (IIIM Jammu) are the two bodies responsible for the implementation of the Aroma Mission at J&K.

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Source: unsplash/Baraa Jalahej

The CSIR Aroma Mission is expected to bring about transformative change in the flavouring sector through desired interventions in the areas of agriculture, processing, and product development to drive the growth of the flavouring industry and rural employment.

The objective of the Mission is the cultivation of important medicinal and aromatic plants at the national level to empower domestic farmers and support India’s aromatic crop-based agro-economy by reducing imports of aromatic oils and increasing varieties of homegrown. However, the cultivation of lavender is native to Europe.

Thousands of J&K farmers are switching to lavender cultivation, which has been very profitable for them. According to the statistics, 5,000 entrepreneurs/farmers are growing lavender on more than 200 acres of land, which has led to a 4-5 times increase in their economy.

J&K farmers traditionally grew grains such as corn, rice and millet, which did not provide much profit, but with the cultivation of lavender, their profits have multiplied several times.

Lavender cultivation, also called “Purple Revolution”, is a central government initiative to improve farmers’ income in J&K. Many farmers have abandoned traditional farming and turned to lavender cultivation for profit.

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