New Delhi: The Two-day Lavender Festival-2022 began on Wednesday in Bhaderwah sub-division of Doda district in Jammu & Kashmir. The festival is organized by CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (CSIR-IIIM) under the aegis of CSIR-Aroma Mission.
Dr D.S.Reddy, Director, CSIR-IIIM, Jammu, said that the festival aimed to develop and disseminate the aroma-related S&T developments to reach the end users/clients; the farmers, the industry and society, leading to business opportunities, rural development, poverty alleviation and life quality enhancement.
He was speaking during the kick-off ceremony held at the community hall, Bhaderwah, attended by scientists and researchers of IIIM, Jammu, and civil and police officials of the local administration. Besides, many farmers, especially lavender farmers, also participated in the function.
“The mission aims to bring the additional area under captive cultivation of aromatic cash crops, particularly targeting rain-fed and degraded lands across other Himalayan regions in the country, besides providing technical and infra-structural support for distillation and value additions to farmers and growers all over the country,” said Dr Reddy.
An industry-academia-farmers meet was also held with a particular focus on Lavender cultivation. During the interaction, the experts informed the farmers about modern scientific techniques and know-how, to be employed to improve crop production besides apprising them about post- production techniques.
Under CSIR- Aroma Mission, the IIIM, Jammu, has introduced Lavender to the farmers of Doda, Kishtwar, Kathua, Udhampur, Rajouri, Pulwama, Anantnag, Kupwara and Bandipora districts in J&K. Under the mission, farmers receive free Quality Planting Material (QPM) and end-to-end technology package on cultivation, processing, value addition, and marketing of the Lavender crop.
It is noted that the Lavender cultivation has employed about 5000 farmers and young entrepreneurs in the geographically remote areas of J&K, while more than 1000 farming families in the region are currently growing Lavender on over 200 acres in different parts of J&K.
The experts and other dignitaries also visited the Lavender fields in Lehrout village, Bhaderwah. During their interaction with experts, Lavender growers put forward the challenges hindering crop production, besides posing questions on various aspects of Lavender cultivation to clear their confusions. The experts gave them live demonstrations on tackling multiple challenges and what methods to apply for improved crop production. The interaction was facilitated by Dhanater Singh Kotwal, District Development Commissioner, Doda.
Enthralling performances by local Bhadarwahi artists and school children were the other highlights of the first day of the Lavender festival. The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh, will be the guest of honour at the second day’s celebrations to be held at Higher Secondary School Ground, Bhaderwah, on Thursday, May 26th. (India Science Wire)