Aroma Mission

In a welcome development, Jammu and Kashmir’s lavender farms have now started getting the desired recognition. This recognition was underlined by the inclusion of a tableau depicting these lavender farms on Kartavya Path during the Republic Day celebrations in the national capital. In this regard, Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, in a recent meeting at the CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine in Jammu, advocated for increased public-private partnerships in agri startups. The Minister also urged CSIR-IIIM to conduct research to identify feasible crops for cultivation based on the diverse topography of different regions in Jammu and Kashmir. Describing J&K’s ‘Aroma Mission’ as a success story, he called for investing time and efforts to harness the hitherto unexplored or under-explored areas, contending that these areas hold the key to propelling India’s economy. The minister said, agri startups are fast becoming  avenues of self-employment for youth of the Union Territory. Underlining the importance of generating awareness about cultivation of Himalayan resources like lavender, he called upon the stakeholders to play their part in this endeavour so that a large number of youth in their  areas can join agri start-ups and earn their livelihoods in a sustainable manner and contribute to India’s GDP. The Minister informed that in the last 10 years, the number of start-ups in the country has crossed the one-and-a-half lakh mark. He further informed that India’s bio-economy is currently valued at over 140 billion from 10 billion a decade ago. Lavender farming has emerged as a sustainable industry that can reshape the agricultural landscape and create fresh opportunities for local communities in J&K. The unique climate and geographical advantages of the region make it an ideal hub for lavender cultivation. With cool summers, dry winters, well-drained soil, abundant sunshine, and cool mountain air, the ecosystem in Jammu and Kashmir mirrors the Mediterranean climate—perfect for cultivating high-quality lavender plants. This shift towards lavender farming has not only increased farmers’ income but has also generated new employment opportunities in cultivation, processing, and tourism-related activities. Lavender-based products such as essential oils, soaps, candles, and perfumes have gained popularity, creating entrepreneurial avenues. This economic growth has had a cascading impact on various sectors, including hospitality, transportation, and handicrafts, fostering sustainable development. With a rising preference for natural and organic products, there is an increased global demand for lavender and lavender-based items. Its versatility in applications, from essential oils and aromatherapy to cosmetics and culinary uses, has fueled its popularity. Pertinently, aromatherapy lavender essential oil segment is expected to expand at 6.1% CAGR over the forecast period and to be valued at US$ 9,914.3 mn by 2033 end. Lavender’s soothing and calming properties have positioned it as a sought-after ingredient in aromatherapy and personal care products, aligning with the global health and wellness trend. Lavender farming in Jammu and Kashmir not only provides a sustainable alternative to conventional agricultural practices but also encourages organic farming methods. Minimal irrigation requirements and resilience in arid conditions also make lavender an environmentally friendly crop.

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