Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, India: In order to give employment to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir, the government is taking lot of steps one among them is starting aromatic plant cultivation for the youth.
Presently, the harvest season of lavender, rose and other plants are in full swing in the district, and since they have medicinal value, they can create a source of employment for youth.
Considering the same, the government, for the last few years, has been trying its best to create awareness among the youth and to involve them, especially the young entrepreneurs who are interested in the cultivation of aromatic plants.
The government is also ensuring that the youth, with the help of various schemes, get to know the importance, as well as of the demand, of the aromatic plants.
Mohd Ayoub, a lavender crop cultivator said, “I am harvesting the crop of lavender flowers. The crop is highly profitable as the oil of the flower sells at Rs 10,000 per kg. If the unemployed youth of the area begins working in the plantation of aromatic plants, the situation of unemployment will be removed to some extent.”
Dr. Shahid Rasool, senior scientist and in charge of CSIR, Pulwama said, “I would like to appeal to the educated and unemployed youth of Jammu and Kashmir that these are industrial crops, and with the processing, value-addition and more of these crops, they can earn handsomely. These crops are sustainable, and can withstand the change in the climate.”
“Government of India is trying its best to promote the industry, and I would also like to appeal the youth to try their hand at this industry,” he added.
Further, Rasool said that without the government’s support and proper supervision, positive results and good cultivation of aromatic plants are not possible and those progressive growers who want to produce the aromatic plants in the private sector cannot get proper benefits.
Talking of the field station Bonera, Pulwama, namely CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Rasool said that it is one of the largest research and development institutes and extension station for high-value medicinal, aromatic, spice, and nutraceutical crops spread over an area of 60 hectares.
“The farm is under intensive cultivation of different medicinal and aromatic, spice and nutraceutical crops on commercial-scale especially Lavender, Rose, scented Geranium, Clary Sage, Artemisia, Saffron, and Rosemary besides many other minor aromatic crops and culinary herbs,” he said.
Iqra Farooq, Project Associate CSIR, Pulwama said, “The farm is recognized as one the best for research and development and extension on temperate medicinal and aromatic crops. This research center also trains the interested aromatic plant growers about the extracting oil process because the rose or lavender oils are very costly and if growers show proper interest, they can earn more than their expectations.”
“For the educated and unemployed youth of both rural and urban areas, we offer skill development and also hone their entrepreneurship skills. We teach them the technical aspects and hand-hold them for as long as they need our help,” she added.