First Lavender Festival inaugurated in Bhaderwah; Union Minister calls it birthplace of Purple Revolution

CSIR-Aroma Mission, under the Ministry of Science & Technology, aims to develop aroma-related science and technology for end users — farmers, industry, and society.

lavender festival jitendra singh
Lavender is an avenue of employment generation and research, opening many paradigms of development, Singh said. (ANI)

Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Thursday inaugurated the Lavender Festival, a first for India, in Jammu’s Bhaderwah. Lavender cultivation has transformed the mountainous area’s economy and Singh said it was a potential destination for agri-tech start-ups. Singh described Bhaderwah in Doda district as the birthplace of the purple revolution, possible due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visionary rural upliftment policies. The minister said the Lavender Festival in Bhaderwah was the best example of the progressive policies of the Centre. Bhaderwah is the best place for lavender cultivation in terms of land and climate, he said. Lavender cultivation has generated employment for about 5,000 farmers and young entrepreneurs in Jammu & Kashmir’s remote areas. Over 1,000 farming families are cultivating it on 200 acres.

Lavender is an avenue of employment generation and research, opening many paradigms of development, Singh said, adding that the festival was being attended by scientists, progressive farmers, and agri- entrepreneurs from across the country.

CSIR-Aroma Mission, under the Ministry of Science & Technology, aims to develop aroma-related science and technology to reach end users — farmers, industry, and society, Singh said.

The mission is attracting start-ups and agriculturists, Singh said. During Phase I, CSIR helped cultivation on 6,000 hectares and covered 46 aspirational districts in the country. It has trained over 44,000 people and generated several crores in revenue. In Phase II, the Aroma Mission aims to engage over 45,000 skilled persons to benefit more than 75,000 farming families.

CSIR-IIIM introduced lavender farming in Jammu & Kashmir’s Rama, Doda, Kathua, Kishtwar, Rajouri, Udhampur, Pulwama, Kupwara, Anantnag, and Bandipora districts. It provided free planting material and an end-to-end technology package on processing, cultivation, and marketing of lavender crops to farmers.

Singh said start-ups under the purple revolution in Jammu & Kashmir were an avenue under the Start-up India initiative. Under Lavender cultivation, farmers’ potential income has been quadrupled. The minister also urged the media and opinion leaders to start awareness campaigns to attract the youth towards the start-up culture.

Singh also inaugurated six distillation units for lavender under CSIR-IIIM. CSIR-IIIM also installed 50 distillation units under the Aroma Mission. Three Memoranda of Understanding were signed between CSIR-IIIM Jammu with Agro Voltic Power, Mussoorie, Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar, and Fine Fragrance Power Limited, Mumbai.

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