Union Government on 18 October 2014 launched Jammu Kashmir Arogya Gram Yojna in Jammu and Kashmir. The scheme aims to encourage farmers in J&K to cultivate scientifically tested and commercially beneficial aromatic and medicinal plants in the state.
The scheme is a part of the grand plan of the Government to convert the hilly areas of the country as exclusive zones of high-value organic farm products. The Union Government will initially spend over 25 crore rupees on this scheme.
About the Scheme
Under the scheme, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), will help the farmers with expert guidance and provide them saplings of as many as nine varieties of medicinal and aromatic plants. CSIR is the Research and Development body of the government.
The plant varieties, selected for J&K, include five different varieties of lemon grass (Cymbopogon), Rose (Rosa), Mint (Mentha), Ashwagandha (Withaniasomnifera) and Phalsa fruit plant.
Initially, 1000 villages of Kathua, Jammu and Udhampur in the state will be covered under the scheme. Similar schemes will be launched in other states, keeping in mind soil condition, suitable plant varieties and size and type of land holdings.
Benefit of the Scheme
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Jitendra Singh said that this scheme is a new concept whereby the agricultural land with the potential for growth of aromatic plants will be identified and CSIR scientists as well as aroma experts from different parts of the country will educate and train the local farmers to bring up this cultivation.
The institutes involved
Different CSIR institutions like Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Institute of Himalayan Bio-resource Technology (IHBT), Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and North Eastern Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) will be associated with the implementation of the scheme, first in Jammu and Kashmir and then in other states.
Why they choose Jammu
The ministry officials confirmed that one of the important reasons to start this new scheme from Jammu region was that the IIIM (Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine), Jammu has been actively pursuing research and production of aromatic medicinal and perfumery products for several decades and some of the products produced from this laboratory are of international export quality.
Nine varieties of scientifically tested and commercially beneficial plant saplings will be provided by IIIM Jammu and under the guidance CSIR experts, the project will start from the border district of Kathua.
Who: Union Government
Where: Jammu and Kashmir
When: 18 October 2014