DODA, OCTOBER 10, 2020: Doubling the income of farmers by 2022 is most cherished dream of Prime Minister Narender Modi and the farmers of District Doda are leading the way. Cultivation of Lavender and various other Aromatic plants in Block Bhalla of District Doda is helping the farmers to increase their income manifold.

“Today, I feel proud of my decision of adopting lavender farming as my income has gradually increased beyond expectations. Seeing my success all my fellow villagers have switched from maize to lavender farming,” said farmer Bharat Bhushan, a resident of village Lehrote, Block Bhalla.

Prior to lavender cultivation, the farmers used to grow traditional crops like Maize, paddy and wheat. The cultivation of these crops allowed the farmers to just make the two ends meet and nothing more than that.

Another Farmer, Jagdev Singh resident of Village Bhalra , Block Bhalla also narrates the same success story, while attending a meeting of Back to village 3 here at block Bhalla. In addition to Lavender, the farmers are also cultivating many other aromatic plants like Marigold, he added.

Several women who switched over to lavender farming are a happier lot. Requiring a little time in the fields for its cultivation, the woman are able to utilise their time in other activities.

“Lavender farming turned out to be a purple revolution for us, as for women, it means investing less effort and making more money. Now, we can give extra time to our children and they can concentrate more on their studies,” a local resident, Babli Devi said.

Having an incredibly aromatic smell, lavender flowers have a soothing scent featured in a variety of merchandise, which provides a range of profitable outlets for small-scale producers.

Unlike many other seasonal crops, producers can dry lavender for ornamental flower arrangements, wands, sachets or potpourri, or transform the dried flowers into value-added products such as essential oils, tinctures, soaps or lotions. It’s also useful in baking and makes tasty honey, according to experts.

The Department of Floriculture provides a subsidy of Rs 75000 for developing a nursery of lavenders on 2 Kanal land. In Financial year 2018-19, two Nurseries were developed at Durdu and Khilani Top. One more nursery was developed at Drudu in 2019-20 by the Department. Ending March, 2020, the total no of farmers registered with the department touched 531, with a total 19 Hectare area under Lavender cultivation. The total production recorded was 250 kg (oil) , the money earned by farmers was Rs 25 Lakh (approx).

The main clusters cultivating Lavenders include Lehrote, Tipri, Makoti, and Nehotha area of Block Bhalla ; Drudu , Gutassa and Khallu Chinta area of Bhaderwah block, Ponda Dhar, Bharat Bagla khuland Area of Udyanpur Dachnan, Koti – Basti Panchayats and Marmat Area.