Lavender cultivation gaining popularity in India

Cultivation of lavender has changed the fortunes of farmers in Jammu and Kashmir under the ‘Aroma Mission or Purple Revolution’, an initiative of the Centre government towards transforming the lives of UT’s farmer's community. Pertinently, the Purple or Lavender Revolution was launched in 2016 by the Union Ministry of Science & Technology through the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) Aroma Mission.

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The mission aims to support the domestic aromatic crop-based agro-economy by moving from imported aromatic oils to homegrown varieties. Lavender cultivation is practiced in almost all 20 districts of Jammu and 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. Farmers are happy with the farming of unconventional aromatic plants under Aroma Mission. The mission promotes the cultivation of aromatic crops for essential oils that are in great demand by the aroma industry. In J&K, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu (IIIM Jammu) are the two bodies responsible for taking the Aroma Mission forward.

The CSIR Aroma Mission is envisaged to bring transformative change in the aroma sector through desired interventions in the areas of agriculture, processing, and product development for fuelling the growth of the aroma industry and rural employment

According to the Lavender farmers, the selling of at least one liter of its oil fetches them Rs 10,000. The farmers say that lavender grown over one hectare of land gives them a minimum of 40 liters of lavender oil. Lavender water, which separates from lavender oil, is used to make incense sticks. Hydrosol, which is formed after distillation from the flowers, is used to make soaps and room fresheners.

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