Context:- The lavender crop is changing the landscape and improving farm incomes in Kashmir.
- The lavender crop is changing not only the landscape of the Kashmir Valley but also the economic gains of farmers. Several traditional low-income crops such as maize are fast making way for lavender fields in all 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Introduced in 2016 by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology under the Aroma Mission of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, lavender has found home even in the barren and rocky slopes of Pahalgam and Sonamarg in south and central Kashmir.
- Lavender is a high-demand product. Oil extracted from the flowers costs ₹15,000 to ₹20,000 a kg in the market.
- The oil is known for its aroma and medicinal value. For headaches and muscle cramps to depression, it has emerged as a soothing application.
- In Doda district of the Chenab Valley, Bhaderwah already stands out for its lavender fields. Over 500 farmers are tending to 35.41 hectares of fields, where the maize crop was replaced by lavender.
Kashmir is moving towards “purple revolution” as the farmers are slowly switching over from the traditional crops to more rewarding farming of lavender, a purple blossomed aromatic shrub. Since 2007 onwards, lavender farming has been introduced in Kashmir and parts of Jammu. It is now picking up revolutionary proportions