Union Minister Jitendra Singh on June 4 inaugurated the two-day "Lavender Festival" in Jammu and Kashmir's Bhaderwah Valley and said the Union Territory has emerged as the lavender capital of India and a prominent agri-startup destination.
The festival has been organised by the CSIR-IIIM and is part of the institution's 'One Week One Lab Campaign'. It showcases the remarkable progress made in lavender cultivation and its impact on the local community.
Mr. Singh described Bhaderwah as the birthplace of India's purple revolution, highlighting the region's success in promoting lavender cultivation and nurturing agri-startups.
He said the Bhaderwah region offers ideal conditions for lavender cultivation in terms of land and climate.
Speaking about the impact of lavender cultivation, Mr. Singh said it has the potential for employment generation and research opportunities, and opens up new avenues for development.
He also noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has acknowledged the efforts of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (CSIR-IIIM) in supporting farmers in Bhaderwah's Doda district through the the CSIR-aroma Mission.
"Lavender cultivation has transformed the lives of many farmers, offering them higher incomes and economic stability," the Minister said.
The CSIR-aroma Mission has been instrumental in promoting lavender cultivation in the temperate regions of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. Its primary goal is to increase the income of small and marginal farmers and foster the development of agriculture-based startups, they said.
The officials said as part of the mission, the CSIR-IIIM has provided more than 30 lakh free lavender plants to farmers in different districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
The institute has also offered end-to-end technology packages for cultivation, processing, value addition, and marketing of lavender crops, further supporting farmers, they said.
To aid the processing of lavender, the CSIR-IIIM has installed 50 distillation units at various locations across Jammu and Kashmir, the officials said.
"The successful adoption of lavender cultivation by small and marginal maize farmers in the temperate regions of Jammu has led to the establishment of a new industry in the region. More than 2,500 farmers are now cultivating lavender in different parts of Jammu and Kashmir," an official said.