Infrastructure provided by Jammu and Kashmir government for Lavender Cultivation
Lavender farming was launched as the 'Aroma Mission' of the CSIR and Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Lavender cultivation has recently emerged as a promising sector in Jammu and Kashmir. The climate and soil conditions in the region are ideal for the growth of this plant, which is widely used in the cosmetic, medicinal, and fragrance industries. However, several infrastructure needs must be addressed to scale up lavender cultivation and make it profitable.
The government of Jammu and Kashmir has been focusing on promoting agriculture and horticulture in the region to improve the state’s economy. In this direction, the government has decided to provide infrastructure for cultivating lavender. Lavender is a high-value crop that has great potential for income generation. The government has taken steps to encourage farmers to cultivate it.
Essential infrastructure required for Lavender Cultivation
The government has taken several steps to facilitate lavender cultivation in Jammu and Kashmir. It has set up nurseries to distribute quality lavender plants to the farmers. The government has provided technical know-how and training to the farmers to educate them about the cultivation techniques of lavender. The government also provides farmers loans to help them set up the lavender fields.
Apart from this, the government is also encouraging the farmers to grow lavender on a large scale by providing them with financial incentives. The government has given subsidies for buying machinery for cultivating and harvesting lavender. They also provide subsidies for purchasing drip irrigation systems, which are essential for the proper growth of lavender. Moreover, the government has provided a market linkage for lavender farmers.
Lavender cultivation requires specific infrastructure like high-quality seeds, irrigation systems, and machinery. The government has made conscious efforts to make this infrastructure available to the farmers. They have set up modern processing units for lavender flowers and oil extraction. This infrastructure will help the farmers to process the lavender and sell it in the market at better prices.
CSIR-IIIM’s efforts in Lavender Cultivation
Under CSIR-Aroma Mission, CSIR-IIIM introduced Lavender and provided more than 30 Lakh free Lavender plants to the farmers of different districts of J&K. CSIR-IIIM has installed 50 distillation units (45 fixed and five mobile) to support farmers in processing their produce.
The government’s efforts have yielded significant results, and the farmers have started showing a keen interest in lavender cultivation. The government has taken various initiatives to increase the production of lavender in the region. Lavender cultivation has become an essential part of agriculture in the region, and the government is planning to allocate more funds for lavender farming in the future.
Importance of mission related to Lavender Cultivation
As per CSIR IIIM records, many small and marginal maize farmers in the temperate regions of the Jammu division have successfully adopted Lavender. Lavender cultivation has employed large numbers of farmers and young entrepreneurs in the geographically remote regions of J&K. Due to the intervention of CSIR-IIIM, a new industry around Lavender cultivation has developed in the region. More than 2500 farmers are cultivating Lavender in different parts of J&K. Women are primarily employed in the Lavender fields for harvesting and processing the flower, which has increased women’s income in the region. Many young entrepreneurs have started small-scale businesses through the value addition of Lavender oil, hydrosol, and flowers. CSIR-IIIM has been conducting many skill development programs and trained more than 2500 farmers and young entrepreneurs from J&K on Lavender cultivation, processing, value addition, and marketing.
Farmers benefit from Lavender Cultivation
The net annual income of farmers who switched from maize to Lavender cultivation has increased many folds from around Rs. 40,000/- to Rs. 60,000/- per hectare to Rs. 3,50,000/- to Rs. 6,00,000/- per hectare. Farmers of the Bhaderwah, Doda district have produced 300, 500, 800, and 1500 Litres of Lavender oil in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively. They have earned crores in between 2018-2022 by selling dry flowers, Lavender plants, and Lavender oil. The successful end-to-end technology transfer on the cultivation of lavender to the farmers of J&K. It has helped them excel in their cultivation and in turn financially.
Principal Scientist at Plant Sciences and Agrotechnology Division (PSA) in CSIR – Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine Dr. Sumeet Gairola advices all those who are interested in growing Lavender in Jammu and Kashmir is that they must first assess how much they are currently getting from their land. If they are getting more than one lakh rupees per acre, I would suggest them to continue with their current agricultural crop. However in the places which are rain fed, there is problem of water and wild animals, I suggest they can explore Lavender cultivation. I suggest them to visit Farmers who are already growing Lavender and discuss with them about taking up the Lavender. They can also contact CSIR-IIIM Jammu for the guidance. Lavender can be a good source of income for the farmers on rain fed mountain slopes.
General Requirements of Lavender
Thus, the infrastructure provided by the government of Jammu and Kashmir has been instrumental in the promotion of lavender cultivation in the region. The government’s efforts have resulted in the economic upliftment of the farmers, and this has benefitted the region as a whole. With the infrastructure in place, the future of lavender cultivation in Jammu and Kashmir looks bright.
Apart from the infrastructure developed by government there are some general requirements for growing a lavender plant. Lavender cultivation requires well-drained soil with neutral to alkaline pH levels. The ideal soil texture should be sandy loam or clay loam, with good water holding capacity. The site should have full sunlight exposure for at least 6-8 hours a day. Proper irrigation systems need to be installed to ensure that the plants receive enough water. Additionally, an appropriate nutrient management system should be established to ensure optimal growth and production of the lavender plants. Proper drainage and regular pruning are also essential to prevent disease and promote healthy growth. Finally, a storage facility is needed for drying and processing the harvested lavender flowers.
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