Bhaderwah (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], June 4 (ANI): Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh on Sunday said that Bhaderwah has emerged as the Lavender capital of India and agri StartUp destination.
"It is a moment of pride for all of us as Bhaderwah has emerged as the Lavender capital of India and Agri StartUp destination," Jitendra Singh said after inaugurating 2 days Lavender festival at Bhaderwah.
CSIR, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu had organised the event as part of its 'One Week One Lab Campaign'.
Singh described Bhaderwah as the birthplace of India's purple revolution and the destination of agri-StartUps.
The Minister said that the valley of Bhaderwah is the best example of the development of the present progressive government at the centre which should have been celebrated much earlier, Bhaderwah being the best place for lavender cultivation in terms of land and climate.
Singh while referring to lavender cultivation in the region, said that Lavender is an avenue of employment generation and research opening many paradigms of development.
"Lavender cultivation has changed the lives of many farmers. It is heartening to note that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the 99th Edition of Mann ki Baat, appreciated the efforts of the Council of ScientificIndustrial Research- Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (CSIR-IIIM) in supporting farmers in the cultivation of Lavender in the Bhaderwah, Doda district, JK 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 JK. 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 Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (IC) of the Ministry of ScienceTechnology. Under his directions, CSIR-IIIM is implementing Lavender cultivation in Bhaderwah and other parts of JK.
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, produced 300, 500, 800, and 1500 Litres of Lavender oil in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively. They earned over Rs 5 Crore between 2018-2022 by selling dry flowers, Lavender plants, and Lavender oil, an official statement said. (ANI)