“My Flower Nursery”: How MIDH, RKVY and ATMA are boosting the commercial floriculture sector at J&K

SRINAGAR, NOVEMBER 07: Commercial floriculture in Jammu and Kashmir is helping farmers to multiply their profits through government sponsored programs and other related interventions.

Commercial floriculture, a specialized form of horticulture aimed at increasing grower incomes and creating employment opportunities, involves the establishment of ornamental nurseries, the cultivation of aromatic oilseeds such as lavender, the production of cut flowers of rose, carnation, gerbera and lilium, among others, as well as Production of bulbs of iris, daffodil, dahlia, lilium, gladiolus, peony, cyclamen, ranunculus, etc.

Centrally Sponsored Programs (CSS) such as MIDH, RKVY and ATMA are implemented for the promotion of the commercial floriculture sector at J&K. The department regularly organizes training sessions inside and outside J&K for farmers/producers to make them aware of modern trends in the floriculture industry.

Young people and unemployed farmers enroll in these programs and start their own businesses in the production of loose and cut flowers, the cultivation of aromatic plants, the ornamental nursery and the use of integrated agriculture for their employment and income generation.

Floriculture products consist mainly of cut flowers, potted plants, cut foliage, seed bulbs, tubers, rooted cuttings, and dried flowers or leaves. Important flower crops in the international cut flower trade are rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, gargera, gladiolus, baby’s breath, liatris, nerine, orchids, archilea, anthurium, tulip and the lily.

Notably, the cultivation of lavender as part of commercial floriculture has changed the fortunes of farmers in Jammu and Kashmir under the “Aromatic Mission or Purple Revolution”, a central government initiative aimed at transforming the lives of the farming community.

According to official data, Purple or Lavender Revolution was launched in 2016 by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology through the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Aroma Mission. The objective of the mission is to support the domestic agro-economy based on aromatic crops by switching from imported aromatic oils to local varieties.

Lavender cultivation is practiced in almost all 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir. As part of the mission, new farmers were given free lavender saplings while those who had previously grown lavender were charged Rs. 5-6 per sapling.

Farmers are happy with the cultivation of unconventional aromatic plants as part of Mission Aroma. The mission promotes the cultivation of flavor crops for essential oils which are in high demand by the flavor industry.

Rubbena Tabassum of Yarikalan Chadoora, Budgam has become an inspiration to many young people, especially women due to her dedication and passion which ultimately helped her establish Nursery of Flowers.

Since then, there has been no looking back for Rubeena, as she has a busy schedule with her kindergarten commitments.

Rubeena says she started her business called United Floritech with cut flowers. “I started a variety of flowers in my nursery by adding flowers like Lilium, Glidulous and other flowers. Due to huge public demand, I had to hire additional labor, explains Rubeena. Now I am no longer just a freelancer, but I provide employment for other workers,” Rubeena said with a sense of satisfaction.

The Department of Floriculture also contributed a great deal by providing 50% financial assistance to erect structures and assistance in the purchase of high-value flower varieties, which ultimately resulted in the flourishing of My Nursery of Flowers. , she says.

Bharat Bhushan, a resident of Lehrote village, Block Bhalla Doda, is proud of his decision to embrace lavender farming as his income has gradually increased beyond expectations. Seeing my success, all my fellow citizens switched from growing maize to growing lavender,” he said.

Dora W. Clawson