India: Lavender revolution in Jammu and Kashmir

Cultivation of lavender has changed the fortunes of farmers in Jammu and Kashmir farmers who quit maize crop cultivation to take up the new crop. More than 800 progressive farmers of Doda adopted aromatic cultivation which is now proved out to be more profitable to them than maize. The farmers, who are growing lavender under the Union Government’s Aroma Mission, said that they are happy while adopting farming of unconventional aromatic plants under Aroma Mission. Read more about Lavender cultivation and Aroma Mission.

The Purple or Lavender Revolution was launched in 2016 by the Union Ministry of Science & Technology through the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research’s (CSIR) Aroma Mission. The aim of the mission is to support domestic aromatic crop-based agro-economy by moving from imported aromatic oils to homegrown varieties.

Lavender cultivation is practiced in almost all the 20 districts of Jammu & Kashmir. Under the mission, first-time farmers were given free lavender saplings, while those who had cultivated lavender before were charged Rs. 5-6 per sapling.

Kashmir provides the best climatic conditions conducive to lavender plantations as it grows well in cold temperatures and moderately warm summers and needs one or two irrigations during the rain-fed periods. This cash crop has a gestation period of two years before reaching economic productivity. The plant, best known as a crop in Mediterranean countries, likes lots of sun but needs little water.

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