Purple Revolution of J&K a game changer

Purple Revolution of J&K a game changer


Jammu, July 1 : The story of lavender cultivation that began with a single farmer via the CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM) Jammu’s intervention under the Aroma Mission has now turned into a game changer bringing about economic prosperity besides transforming Doda’s landscape.

The CSIR-IIIM that aimed at transforming the Jammu and Kashmir district with a plan for an alternative to traditional crops to improve farmers’ income, chose Lavender, a well known aromatic crop, under the CSIR-Aroma Mission.

A series of awareness and training programs later, farmers equipped with the benefits of lavender cultivation led to the subsequent blooming of the ‘Purple Revolution’ of Jammu and Kashmir.

Third time Member Parliament from the Kathua-Udhampur Parliamentary Constituency and Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh says, ‘Purple Revolution’ originating from Jammu and Kashmir offers attractive avenues and those who have entered the lavender sector are making a fortune out of it.

“The new avenue of lavender startups has put J&K on the world map. It is now known as the birthplace of ‘Purple Revolution’,” said Singh.

Speaking exclusively to UNI, the Union Minister said, “It is a new avenue of agri start-ups because we are mostly talking in terms of IT start-ups without exploring our indigenous resources of our national assets. For us the Himalayan resources were never explored and usually we were led by the western concept.”

“Nearly 5000 start-ups have already started making a handsome livelihood. Some of the youngsters have given up their corporate jobs and joined this mission considering it as a highly profitable vocation,” said Singh.

“It has now been adopted by other Himalayan states like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and the chief ministers of these respective states are personally taking interest,” Singh told UNI.

He said, “The youth of J&K associated with the Aroma Startups ecosystem have emerged as brand ambassadors of ‘Purple Revolution’ across the country.”

The Lavender Festival of Bhaderwah was attended by people of special teams designated from all these states, said the minister, as he pointed out at the tourist interest that has developed around the lavender fields “who enjoy clicking selfies” in the “purple blushed landscape”.

It is now a start up, livelihood source and a tourist attraction, said the Minister.

“It started with a very small note as ‘Aroma Mission’ because nobody was aware of it. One family had some space and they obliged us but when they found it profitable, they gave us more land,” the minister recalled the baby-steps of the Aroma Mission.

Singh said that a value addition is to be done in the next level and it is now being used in different products. He noted, “it has marketing arrangements in Maharashtra and other leading markets for perfumes, cosmetic products, herbal products, medicinal care through value addition and this will go on increasing for more improvisation because it is a very versatile product”.

“Jammu and Kashmir is now a role model for the rest of India. This was exemplified by the lavender farms of Bhaderwah town of Doda, with a tableau on Kartavya Path on the occasion of the Republic Day,” said Singh.

“Lavender, which was earlier only disseminated in Kashmir Valley, was introduced to the temperate regions of the Jammu division, four states and Union Territory Ladakh,” Dr. Zabeer Ahmed, Director, CSIR – IIIM Jammu told UNI.

The Director said, “Lavender cultivation in the Doda district of Jammu region has turned out to be extremely rewarding endeavour. It is popularly known as “The Purple Revolution” and encouraged by the success Lavender has also found its way to other districts of Jammu and Kashmir including in Gool, Batote, Banihal in Ramban, Dandi, Drodhu, Kud, Sarar, Malothi in Udhampur, Dharmahanpur in Kathua and Darhal in Rajouri.

Sharing this year’s data, Ahmed said, “This season, 100-kg of fresh oil was extracted from the lavender cultivation in the Doda district and presently we have a stock of 6 to 7 quintal.”

He said: “We got nearly 10 quintals of dry flowers that cost Rs 800 to Rs 1,000 per-kg and one-kanal of land produces 80 to 90 kg of flowers.”

The Director further said that under the CSIR-Aroma Mission, CSIR-IIIM has provided farmers with free, high-quality planting material of lavender wherein over 45 lakh free Lavender Quality Planting Material is facilitating its widespread adoption among people.

“During the first phase of the Aroma Mission, 164.92 hectares of land area was covered under Lavender cultivation, with around 600 farmers adopting lavender cultivation and in the second phase of CSIR-Aroma Mission (2017-22), the cultivated area expanded to 910.71 hectares, attracting 2,500 more farmers,” he said.

The third phase, he stated, is currently ongoing and has already covered 317.11 hectares in its first year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also acknowledged CSIR-IIIM’s efforts in supporting lavender cultivation during his 99th Edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat’.


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