Continuing its efforts to introduce new crop varieties in the region, besides giving extension to some crops from the areas they were traditionally grown to newer areas, the Agriculture Department is exploring the avenues and opportunities to introduce lavender to some new areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Director Agriculture Kashmir Chowdhary Mohammad Iqbal said that the cultivation of lavender will help to improve the socio-economic conditions of the farmers.
He said this on the occasion of sending a consignment of 10,000 (Ten Thousand) lavender saplings (Quality Planting Material) to the farmers of Jammu Division (Kathua district) for the promotion of lavender in Bani area of the district.
The Director said that the Advisor Farooq Ahmad Khan has a vision to add new dimensions to the existing agriculture scenario so that the framers of the region could become agri- entrepreneurs and promotion of lavender cultivation in new areas is a step towards this direction.
He further added that Principal Secretary AP&FWD Navin Kumar Chowdhary is personally monitoring the execution of different programs to introduce new crops of economic importance in the region in order to achieve the target of doubling the farmers income by 2022.
Pertinent to mention that lavender is a perennial shrub belonging to the mint family. Besides being an ornamental plant, it is also economically viable plant with a kilo of oil extracted from the flowers selling for upwards of Rs 14000, mostly used in aroma Industry. The residue after the oil extraction is used to make agarbattis, soaps etc.
Highlighting the Economic importance of the Lavender crop, the Director said that it is one of the best cash crops in the world. He said that demand for quality planting material of lavender has increased over the years.