Purple Revolution

    0
    490

    In News

    • The Union Minister of State Science & Technology said that “Purple Revolution” is Jammu & Kashmir’s contribution to “Start-ups India”, an initiative that was launched by the PM in 2016 and today we are observing the first National Start-up Day.

    About the Aroma mission and the Lavender crop

    • Aroma Mission: launched by the Union Ministry of Science & Technology through the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), this has led to the well-known “Purple Revolution” in India.
      • Aim is to boost cultivation of plants like lavender that have aromatic medicinal properties.
    • Lavender crop: CSIR introduced high-value essential oil-bearing lavender crop through its Jammu based laboratory, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicines (IIIM) for cultivation in districts Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri and later also in the other districts including Ramban, Pulwama, etc.
      • In a brief span of time, aroma/lavender cultivation has become a popular option in farming for agricultural Start-up.
    • The lavender plant has now been naturalized for India: It is a hardy plant that can grow on degraded soils. In addition, resistant pests & diseases also.
      • Lavender is a crop native to Europe, but was introduced in the temperate regions of this state by the CSIR Aroma Mission.
    • Climate for Lavender Cultivation: The ideal climatic conditions are cool winters and cool summers.
      • Lavender is a temperate plant and can tolerate drought and frost conditions.
      • One can get more yields when cultivated at higher altitudes.
      • The lavender crop requires good sunlight as well.
      • In case of poor lighting conditions, one can observe less yield of flowers and reduced essential oil content.
    • Soil Requirement for Lavender Cultivation: Light well-aerated dry and calcareous soils with slopes rich in organic matter are best for lavender cultivation.
      • Lavender is very sensitive to water logging.
    • Once grown it starts yielding lavender oil: by the third year and can last for up to two decades as it is a hardy perennial.
    • India today is a net importer of lavender oil: and through its extension activities the CSIR’s Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu aims to make India a net exporter of Lavender oil.
    • States involved in cultivation: At present, large-scale lavender cultivation is limited to J&K but governments in Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are also encouraging their farmers to take up lavender.

     Problems with Lavender Plants

    • Root Rot disease: As they are native to the Mediterranean region, lavenders grow best in sunny, dry areas. Root rot is a fungal disease that thrives in wet, heavy soil. The leaves of the infected plant wilt and turn brown.
    • Insects: Spittlebugs or froghoppers are tiny insects that suck the sap from lavender plants. Their presence is detected as white, frothy blobs that appear on the stems and leaves of infected plants.
    • Wet Soil Conditions & Humidity: One of the biggest problems and causes of Lavender dying out is the overwatering of potted Lavender or excessive soil moisture for those plants grown in the ground. Lavender grows in loose, slightly sandy or gritty alkaline soil that is fast draining.
    • Yellowing Leaves or Foliage: Lavender with yellowing leaves is a common problem. Lavender leaves turning yellow are indicative of different things depending on planting conditions. A potted or container grown plant with yellowing foliage could indicate too much or too little nitrogen.
    • Lack of Enough Light: The second biggest problem is not enough sun. Lavender comes from a dry climate region that has tons of sun. This plant loves to sunbathe.

    Significance

    • Aroma Mission is attracting Start-ups and agriculturists from across the country: and during Phase-I CSIR helped cultivation on 6000 hectares of land and covered 46 Aspirational districts across the country.
    • In the second Phase of Aroma Mission: it is proposed to engage over 45,000 skilled human resources with the aim of benefitting more than 75,000 farming families across the country.
    • Purple economy: Lavender is a big hit in the global perfume industry. India was not growing much lavender earlier. It is only in the last few years; CSIR has started extending Lavender farming. The aromatic oil extracted from the flowers can sell for more than Rs 10,000 per kg.
    • Lavender oil is also used in aromatherapy: For the same acreage, farmers can earn up to five times more returns by cultivating lavender.
    • Holistic development of Kashmir: This rapidly expanding high-value crop also offers an opportunity for holistic development of Kashmir, through gainful employment of the vulnerable educated unemployed youth.
    • Multiple uses: Lavender water, which separates from lavender oil, is used to make incense sticks. Hydrosol, which is formed after distillation from the flowers, is used to make soaps and room fresheners.
    • Women farmers: Lavender cultivation also provided employment to the district’s women farmers.
    • It does not require much water or fertilizers: The best thing about the lavender plant is that animals like monkeys and cows do not eat or destroy it. It does not require much water or fertilizers and cow dung is enough.

    Source: PIB