Second lavender festival to begin in Bhaderwah from June 4

Representational Image

Value addition in crop cultivation, marketing support to farmers on agenda

Bivek Mathur

JAMMU, May 26: The second lavender festival is all set to begin in the hilly Bhaderwah region of District Doda from June 4, 2023.
During the two-day event, thousands of farmers of the region associated with the cultivation of the aromatic crop would get a chance to interact with the agro-scientists and the industrialists dealing with the aroma industry to learn ways to ensure value addition in the cultivation of the crop and to increase market linkages for the sale of their crop and its products.
Dr Sumeet Gairola, Principal Scientist, CSIR-IIIM Jammu, told the Excelsior that Minister of State (I/C) Science and Technology, MoS in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh would inaugurate the two-day event while senior CSIR-IIIM officials, scientists, industrialists, progressive farmers and agriculture and horticulture officials from across the country would attend the programme.
“The main objective of this programme is to extend Mission Aroma from Jammu and Kashmir to other Himalayan States including Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and the North-Eastern States since there is a potential of lavender cultivation in these States,” he said, adding, “this is the reason, farmers and agriculture as well as horticulture officials from these States would be participating in this event.”
According to Gairola, 25 farmers accompanied by Horticulture Department officials from Meghalaya, 10-12 farmers and Horticulture Department officials from Himachal Pradesh, 25 farmers and 4-5 department officials from Uttarakhand besides progressive farmers from different districts of Jammu and Kashmir would be attending the programme.
He further said that 4-5 progressive farmers each from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Maharashtra would also visit Bhaderwah to interact with the local farmers to learn about the purple revolution in the region.
Besides farmers and agriculture and horticulture officials, he said, Delhi, Mumbai, Ghaziabad, and Lucknow based industrialists and businesspersons dealing with aromatic products, scientists from CSIR’s labs across the country, local scientists, and academicians would also participate in the lavender festival.
“While the scientists and academicians will help the local farmers in value addition in their crops, the industrialists and businesspersons will help them in providing the market linkages,” he said.
“In total, some 2500 people from across the country are expected to participate in the lavender festival,” he added.
Dr Zabeer Ahmed, Director, CSIR-IIIM Jammu, said the District Administration in Doda has designated lavender as the brand product of the District under the One District One Product (ODOP) initiative.
“So, the lavender festival is aimed at providing knowledge to the local farmers about value addition in their crop, arranging their meetings with the industrialists and businesspersons to help them with the marketing support, to engage the progressive youth in raising the start-ups under the Mission Aroma, and to promote Bhaderwah on the tourism map of the country,” Dr Zabeer said. So far, five start-ups have been raised under the Mission Aroma in Jammu and Kashmir.
Dr Zabeer further said that lavender cultivation has thus far employed over 5000 farmers and young entrepreneurs in the geographically remote region of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to him, more than 2500 farming families in the J&K, mostly women, are currently cultivating lavender on more than 500 acres of land in different parts of J&K.
“Thus, the purple revolution has also empowered the women folk of the region,” he said.
Pertinently, the CSIR-IIIM Jammu has conducted many skill development programs under CSIR-Aroma Mission and trained over 2500 farmers and young entrepreneurs from J&K on cultivation, processing, value addition, and marketing of lavender and other aromatic crops.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also mentioned in his 99th episode of the Mann Ki Baat about the success of the lavender cultivation in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bhaderwah.