One day Awareness cum demonstration programme on Cultivation, Processing and Marketing of Medicinal and Aromatic plants organized at CSIR- Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Jammu and Kashmir under the supervision of Director CSIR IIIM Jammu, Dr. D. Srinivasa Reddy and Head, CSIR IIIM, Srinagar, Dr. Zabeer Ahmad, here.

Director Agriculture Kashmir, Choudhary Mohamamd Iqbal was the chief guest on the occasion.

Speaking at the event, the Director Agriculture highlighted the importance of medicinal and aromatic plant sector for income and revenue generation of farmers and efforts needed to boost this sector by integrating all concerned agencies like universities, colleges, allied department like Agriculture and Floriculture for making this sector more promising and profitable.

Iqbal thanked organizers of the programme and highlighted role and contribution of CSIR IIIM in promoting Cultivation and Processing Technologies of Medicinal and Aromatic plants. He also stressed on having such more programmes in future for awareness of public towards this sector.

The programme was held in two main sessions by adopting all necessary SOPs regarding COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Inaugural session was followed by technical session and interaction with participants, farmers, growers and other stakeholders for suggestions / comments and any related queries. Field visit was also arranged for live demonstration of various field related activities

The Inaugural session started a with a formal welcome address by Dr. Shakir P Sultan (Organizer of the Programme). He apprised the participants about the main objective of the event regarding promotion of medicinal and aromatic plant cultivation for income and employment generation and highlighted the role of IIIM in promotion of Aroma sector in J&K.

Dr. Shakir praised the efforts of CSIR-IIIM for organizing the programme in the best possible manner. He gave description of many high value aromatic plants Like Lavender, Rose cultivated on large scale in different parts of the country and J&K with an aim to increase farmers income by cultivation of these high value cash crops.

Dr. Qazi Parvaiz Hassan (Co – Nodal, CSIR Aroma Mission) gave a detailed presentation highlighting prospectus and scope of Aroma industry in J&K and also gave an overview of CSIR Aroma mission and its importance for cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants for better returns and income generation.

Dr. Shahid Rasool (Incharge, Field station, Bonera, Pulwama) discussed about scope of industrially important Medicinal and Aromatic plants for entrepreneurship development and securing livelihood of growers and farmers.

Prof. Sajad Ahmad Gangoo (Head, Department of Forest Products & Utilization, Faculty of Forestry, SKUAST K) as subject expert gave presentation on “20 medicinal plants for home gardens of Kashmir to cure common ailments” and discussed about opportunities in cultivation and processing of Medicinal and Aromatic plants for farmers so that their income can be increased for better health and income source.

Prof. Sheikh Bilal as Invited Guest thanked organizers for conducting such events of high importance which have direct bearing on their livelihood and economic prospectus.

At the conclusion of inaugural seesion, a formal vote of thanks were presented by Dr. Padma Lay.

More than 130 participants including growers, farmers, entrepreneurs and local youth from different districts of the valley participated in the programme.

The participants attending the event also had an opportunity to take part in face to face interaction and discussion regarding some queries, doubts and supporting help that IIIM and other government departments can provide in this sector for growing and cultivation of these high value cash crops.

Also a field visit was arranged for demonstration of field activities related to nursery raising of high value crops like Lavender and Rose for participants and guests followed by lab visit and demonstration of oil extraction at laboratory scale.

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