Srinagar: People associated with the floriculture industry have a reason to rejoice, as the government has set up an advanced oil extraction plant in the Floriculture Department Srinagar.
For the first time, an oil extraction plant with the latest technology has been set up in Srinagar which can extract 4.5 litres of oil at one time.
“People associated with the cultivation of aromatic plants including Lavender, Kashmiri rose, Rosemary, Scented Geranium and Bulgarian rose will get a boost due to this plant,” an official of the Floriculture Department told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said there is an oil extraction plant in Shopian set up 17 years ago. “But the plant set up in Srinagar with advanced technology is first of its kind in Kashmir,” he added.
People associated with floriculture sector can extract oil from their crop free of cost and then export it out of J&K.
“This can boost up the business of aromatic plants. Presently, the lavender crop is cultivated in Srinagar, Sumbal, Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian, and Budgam. We are expecting around 133 quintals of lavender this year and which will give around 133 litres of oil,” said Mohammad Ali Lone, Floriculture Development, Assistant Extension Officer, Kashmir Division.
In floriculture, the income per hectare is much higher than many other agricultural sectors if it is done in a scientific way, he said.
The department, he said, is generating awareness among the educated youth so that many educated people would step into this business.
“In the first year, the crop cultivation will be 25%, in the second year the production will be 50% and in the third year the crop will be in full bloom,” Lone said.
The essential oils from different flowers used in the manufacture of cosmetics are in huge demand and fetch good returns.
Director Agriculture, Ajaz Altaf Andrabi said that cultivation of essential oil plants including Lavender, Rosemary, and Kashmiri rose is a relatively newer concept in Kashmir and it is profitable if people here take it as a commercial crop.
“It can generate employment among educated youth. Kashmir has a huge potential for the cultivation of such crops. Lavender is produced across the world, however, lavender cultivated in Kashmir has special qualities. The environment and the climatic condition make it different from other countries. The aroma of lavender or any other aromatic plants cultivated in Kashmir is very different from other countries due to the temperate conditions,” Andrabi noted.
Mohammad Sharif, a resident of Shopian, who is associated with floriculture sector, said Kashmir has a lot of scope in it as the valley can produce quality flowers.
“Flowers have high demand within and outside Kashmir. We have good soil and weather conditions, which are conducive for the growth of flowers. Extraction of oil from flowers with advanced technology will further give a boost to this sector,” he said.