DODA: Union minister Jitendra Singh has said that Doda district would be recognised as a role model in lavender farming owing to farmers cultivating the plant on a commercial scale there.
Singh chaired the district development coordination and monitoring committee (DISHA) meeting to review the progress of various centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) being implemented in Doda district.
Singh said as farmers are taking up lavender cultivation on a commercial scale due to the high profits, Doda district would be branded as a role model in lavender farming.
According to officials, nearly 400 farmers are engaged in lavender cultivation on more than 450 acres of land in dozens of hilly hamlets in Doda. Their incomes quadrupled after shifting from maize to lavender during the last few years.
Giving details, they said that lavender water, which separates from lavender oil, is used to make incense sticks while hydrosol, which is formed after distillation from the flowers, is used to make soaps and room fresheners. The farmers get help from IIIM-Jammu to sell their products and several companies, which manufacture aromatic products like candles and aroma oils, are their primary buyers, they said.
Officials said their mission is to increase lavender cultivation to 1,500 hectares within the next three years. Meanwhile, Singh stressed on ensuring synergy between public representatives and administration while taking up projects and said better coordination is the key to effective implementation of schemes.
He said it is the endeavour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the benefits of all centrally-sponsored schemes reach the beneficiaries and the last person in the queue. He urged all stakeholders to work in close coordination for better results at the grassroots level.
He directed officers to remain in touch with public representatives whenever they visit their areas and also make people aware about the benefits of the CSS. (PTI)