CSIR- IHBT Palampur helping farmers cultivate aromatic crops in vacant land

In the Samra valley of District Chamba, Bharmour till some time ago, the farmers depended for their income and livelihood. Potato, barley, maize, wheat, etc crops were grown with great effort and cost, but wild animals like monkeys Due to the excessive encroachment of langur, bear, and stray animals, the farmers suffered a lot of problems and losses. had to face Due to this the farmers stopped growing crops . The land had become barren due to migration. Now positive initiative of CSIR-IHBT, Palampur, and under the modern approach, about 750 farmers under CSIR-Aroma Mission Phase III Farmers are cultivating fragrant marigolds on acres of land.

One such Farmer Rajesh Rana, after retirement from Himachal Police Service, got in touch with IHBT, Palampur. After this, he went to his native village Khanog, Tehsil Bharmour, The vacant land in district Chamba has been made available by the institute along with 50 other farmers of the village. He Started the cultivation of scented marigolds. He told that there is a lot of cultivable land in Samra Valley. It is lying vacant due to the menace of wild animals.

According to Dr. Rakesh Kumar, Senior Principal Scientist, in addition to the fragrant marigold in this valley, Damask Rose, aromatic crops like Muskabala, Rosemary, Clary Sage, etc. can be cultivated. Animals do not cause any harm to these crops and the essential oils obtained from them are in good demand in the international market. He told that under the third phase of Aroma Mission, the institute has distributed fragrant marigolds to the farmers.

Seeds of improved variety “Him Swarnima” have been made available free of cost to the farmers. These seeds are developed by scientists of which 180-230 quintal biomass per hectare and 36-45 Kg per hectare oil can be obtained. The market price of fragrant marigold oil is 12000- 15000 Rs per kg. Farmer earned a net profit of Rs 1.25 to 1.5 lakh per hectare in 5-6 months. Fragrant marigolds can improve the livelihood of hill farmers, so wild marigold Agriculture is being promoted.

Dr. Sudesh Kumar Yadav, Director, CSIR-IHBT, Palampur told that Aroma Mission under the third phase, is promoting aromatic crops by the institute, and from time to time, the farmers are given advanced training. Seeds are being made available. Farmers are being taught the agricultural techniques of aromatic crops and
Processing units are also being set up for farmer groups. Aroma mission by the institute Under this, 13 processing units have been set up in district Chamba, using which farmers can get maximum can be more beneficial.

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