‘The lavender has been a ray of hope for farmers with small land holdings’
Bhaderwah (J&K), Nov 20 (PTI): Agriculturists from the North-East region thronged Jammu and Kashmir’s Bhaderwah valley, which is famous for India’s purple revolution, to have first-hand experience of lavender farming in the region.
The visit of the farming community from the North-Eastern States of Meghalaya and Nagaland to the lavender fields in Bhaderwah to learn the nuances of cultivation and use them in their respective States from such farming is a major psychological boost to the farmers associated with ‘aroma mission’.
A group of 25 progressive farmers, scientists of CSIR Northeastern States and the Institute of Natural Resources Meghalaya along with consultants of respective Governments of North Eastern States accompanied by senior faculty members of IIIM (Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine) are camping here, officials said.
Farmers from Nagaland and Meghalaya while expressing their joy said that this is like a fairytale to walk the lavender fields in person which we have seen in photographs and videos only and for this experience, we are thankful to the Ministry of science and technology and Union minister Dr Jitendra Singh.
“We share an almost similar climate in majority of the areas of Northeastern States and hope we will replicate the success which farmers of Bhaderwah have experienced by bringing purple revolution here,” Dr Hygina Siangbood -Scientist, Institute of Natural Resources, Meghalaya, said.
“The experience over here is quite fascinating, seeing the success of farmers is overwhelming. Our main objective is to take lavender cultivation to Meghalaya also, so that our farmers and aroma industry can also get benefit by adopting the ways and means farmers and startup owners are practising in this Valley,” Dr Hygina added.
Principal Scientist Aroma Mission IIIM Jammu Dr Sumeet Gairola said that Bhaderwah has emerged as a role model for the entire Country and the success story of the farmers have started attracting Scientist, technocrats and progressive farmers from the length and breadth of India.
“Bhaderwah is not only the birthplace of India’s Purple revolution and capital of it but we are heading towards our goal of making this Valley the ‘Bulgaria of India’ and for the success MoS Science and Technology has acted as a catalyst,” Gairola added.
Local farmers and those associated with aroma industries are also upbeat and enjoying the experience of newfound attention and recognition they have gotten from across the country for cultivating lavender and its value addition.
“It’s like a dream come true and to conquer the impossible as we are steadily heading to make Bhaderwah – ‘Bulgaria of India’. For this path-breaking success, credit goes to MoS Science and Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh for making it sure to adopt a holistic approach and get it implemented by CSIR-IIIM,” said Touqeer Bagban, a lavender farmer and startup owner of Bhaderwah.
An idea for the Aroma Mission was conceived for the lavender plant in Jammu and Kashmir by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology through the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It is a joint effort by the CSIR and the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Jammu.
“Lavender is grown in cold temperatures and moderate summers. It has a gestation period of two years before the plantation can rain money,” he said.
They said that the lavender has been a ray of hope for farmers with small land holdings. Compared to any other normal crop, such as maize, it could hardly fetch Rs 2500 per kanal (8 kanals = 1 acre). On the other hand, lavender can easily earn up to Rs 15,000 per kanal every year.