PM mentions Srinagar’s FPO for sale of Lotus Stems, Lavender cultivation in Bhaderwah in Mann Ki Baat

Congratulates people for MaaSharda temple


JAMMU/SRINAGAR, Mar 26: Prime Minister NarendraModi today referred to the establishment of a Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) for sale of Lotus Stems (Nadru) in Srinagar’s Hazratbal and cultivation of Lavender in Bhaderwah tehsil of Doda district in Jammu region in his 99th Episode of monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ Radio programme.

Modi also referred to the recent inauguration of Grand temple of MaSharda in Kupwara district recently.

“Friends, when there is talk of Kashmir, talk of lotus, talk of flowers, talk of fragrance, then it is very natural to remember MaaSharda who is seated on the lotus flower. A few days ago, the Grand Temple of MaaSharda was inaugurated in Kupwara. This temple is built on the same route one would use to go to visit ShardaPeeth. The local people have helped a lot in the construction of this Temple. I congratulate the people of Jammu and Kashmir for this auspicious work,” the Prime Minister said.

He said in Bhaderwah town of Doda district, the farmers had been engaged in traditional maize cultivation for decades, but some farmers thought of doing something different and turned to floriculture i.e. cultivation of flowers.

“Today, around two and half thousand farmers are cultivating Lavender in Bhaderwah, They have also been handheld through Aroma Mission of the Central Government. This new cultivation has greatly increase income of the farmers. Today, along with Lavender, fragrance of their success is spreading far and wide,” the Prime Minister said.

Modi lauded the establishment of a FPO for the sale of the top quality Lotus Stems (Nadru) in Srinagar’s Hazratbal during the 99th Episode of his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat,’ stating that the demand for the Kashmir Nadru is witnessing an increase and bringing the name to the Valley.

The FPO called ‘Dal Lake Lotus Stem Farmers Producer Company Ltd,’ employs around 1000 people and was established in December 2022. Interestingly, by February, 2023, the FPO, with the assistance of the Department of Agriculture, Kashmir, was able to ship two consignments of Nadru to the UAE via Lulu Group, resulting in a fair price for the growers and an increase in employment.

“The demand for Nadru of Kashmir is continuously increasing. In light of this demand, farmers cultivating Nadru in Dal lake have formed an FPO. About 250 farmers have joined this FPO. Today these farmers have started exporting their Nadru to foreign countries. Just some time back, these farmers sent two consignments to the UAE. This success is not only bringing a name to Kashmir but also it has increased the income of hundreds of farmers,” the PM said.

He said when it comes to Kashmir or Srinagar, the first picture that comes to our mind is of her Valleys and Dal lake and that everyone would like to enjoy the views of Dal lake. “However, there is one more thing special about Dal lake. Dal lake is also known for its delicious Lotus Stems, also known as ‘Kamal Kakdi’. Lotus Stems are known by different names in different places across the country. In Kashmir, they are called Nadru,” he said.

Officials told Excelsior that the farmers in the Hazratbal area of the Dal lake frequently complained that the price they received for their harvest was insufficient due to the scarcity of market connections for their products and the low yields of the individual farmers.

To address the issue and take into account the uniqueness of the Nadru as a delicacy, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Srinagar, Mohammad AjazAsad, approved an FPO on Nadru-supported by NABARD under the Central Sector Scheme of formation of 10,000 FPOs-so that farmers involved in Nadru cultivation would benefit.

While expressing gratitude to the PM for mentioning the initiative, DC Srinagar said that the same will encourage the farmers to do more.

“Thankful to the PM @narendramodiji for mentioning our initiative in #MannKiBaat. The inspirational and encouraging words will spur entrepreneurship and innovation among the Lotus producing Farmers of the Dal lake for sustainable Nadru cultivation,” he tweeted.

Notably, as per the details, the FPO mobilised a total of 250 shareholders in the area in a short period and has also been recognised as a company-owned registered Nadru trademark involving the marketing of hygienically acquired and top-grade Nadru. (Lotus Stem). It is also developing its operations in value addition, primary, and secondary processing by establishing value addition units in the area.

According to the DC Srinagar, the FPO plan is an institutional instrument to lower production costs, boost per unit production, and promote better market linkage to raise farmers’ income, while noting that the line Departments have been asked to suggest ways to improve the district’s farmers’ agricultural products’ marketability and value addition.

Further, during the broadcast of the radio program, PM Modi also highlighted the amazing lavender cultivation in Bhadarwah of Jammu division stating that the new cultivation has greatly increased the income of the farmers, and today, along with the lavender, the fragrance of their success is spreading far and wide.

“Friends, another such effort of the people of Kashmir related to agriculture is diffusing the fragrance of its success these days. You must be wondering why I am talking about the fragrance of success – Well…it is a matter of fragrance and it is a matter of aroma! There is a town ‘Bhaderwah’ in the Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir. Here, the farmers had been engaged in traditional maize cultivation for decades, but some farmers thought of doing something different,” the PM said.

He said that they (farmers) turned to floriculture, “and today, around two and a half thousand farmers are cultivating lavender here. They have also been handheld through the Aroma Mission of the Central Government.”

The PM also made mention of the inauguration of the Grand Temple of MaaSharda in north Kashmir’s Kupwara while congratulating the locals for helping in constructing the temple.

PTI adds: Prime Minister NarendraModi today appealed to people to opt for organ donation, and said his Government is working on a uniform policy that will make the process easy and encourage people to adopt the life-saving exercise.

Those who donate their organs after death are “godlike” to recipients, he said in his monthly ‘Mann kiBaat’ radio broadcast, adding that people’s preference for it can save and make many lives.

“It is a matter of satisfaction that the awareness about organ donation is rising in the country,” Modi said, noting that the condition of being a state domicile for receiving organs has been removed to allow the needy to register themselves anywhere in the country.

A decision to remove the age criteria of being less than 65 years for donating organs has also been taken, he added.

From less than 5,000 cases of organ donations in 2013, the number has grown to over 15,000 in 2022, he said.

Organ donation from one deceased person can help eight to nine persons, he noted.

The Prime Minister also spoke to family members of those whose organs were donated after death. This included an Amritsar-based couple who decided to donate the organs of their daughter who passed away 39 days after being born with a fatal condition.

Modi effusively praised the families for opting to donate the organs of their deceased members.

Modi said, “India has also deployed a Women-only Platoon in the Peacekeeping Force under the UN Mission.”

Noting the recent celebration of ancient ties between people of Varanasi and Tamil Nadu though the ‘Kashi-Tamil Sangamam’ held in the holy city, he said ‘Saurashtra-Tamil Sangamam’ will be held in different parts of Gujarat during April 17-30.

Such programmes are driven by the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat’, he said.

Amid the ongoing official celebration of the 400th birth anniversary of Assamese general LachitBorphukan, credited for defeating the Mughals, Modi said people will be surprised to know that about 45 lakh people sent essays on his life as part of a campaign.

“You will also be happy to know that now it has become a Guinness record,” he said.

The essays have been written in 23 languages, he said.