India: Lavender emerges as preferred crop for Kashmir farmers

Farm fields of Pulwama district in south Kashmir have added a purple hue, with a number of farmers taking up lavender cultivation to increase their income.

With rising demand due to its medicinal values and the prospect of better returns, growing lavender has become a preferred choice for many farmers in the area, around 25 kilometers from Srinagar, which is considered the most fertile belt in Kashmir.

"We first extract oil and then do the value addition of the oil. There is a huge scope in lavender cultivation," said Madiha Talat, a Srinagar-based agri entrepreneur. Talat said lavender farming has also opened up opportunities for overseas trade.

"We can export the oil as it is. Its export market is huge in comparison to traditional crops which we grow. So, it is more profitable than the conventional crops. Its shelf life is long, its benefits are more," she said. Besides, lavender leaves can be used as a tea, and they can be processed as oil for use in medicines and aromatherapy.


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