Marigold revolution and e-commerce put Himachal’s Chamba farmers on path to prosperity

A new marigold revolution has started to sweep across the barren hills in Himachal Pradesh’s backward Chamba district bringing prosperity for local farmers from the sale of aromatic oil extracted from the yellow flower known for its fragrance.

Meet Pawan Kumar, 47, a small farmer at Talla village, who is at the center of the revolution. Pawan Kumar alone has 30 bighas of wild marigold cultivation, producing 220 quintals of the crop, and has linked nearly 400 farmers in the Shiyunta mountain belt with the yellow flowers.

Last year, Pawan Kumar extracted around 90 kilos of oil from the produce, and the entire stock got sold out to two leading buyers in Gujarat and Delhi through an e-market linkage.

“ I can’t tell you the exact returns from the crop, but I have paid Rs 10 lakh as GST for my two transactions to supply aromatic oil in 2021. By next year, the amount could see a substantial increase as I have taken land on lease from a few fellow farmers for wild marigold cultivation. This is a wasteland as farmers had abandoned it due to the monkey menace,” he told the India Narrative.

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