Purple Revolution in mountainous Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir

Thousands of farmers in Bhaderwah area of Doda district in J&K have taken to lavender cultivation, which is rewarding in terms of much better returns and low upkeep, reports Fayaz Wani

Published: 23rd April 2023 09:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2023 09:52 AM   |  A+A-

Lavender cultivation

Lavender cultivation in the  Bhaderwah area in the mountainous Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir

Express News Service

JAMMU & KASHMIR: The Bhaderwah area in the mountainous Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing the ‘purple revolution’, with farmers deriving considerable economic benefits from it. From 10 kanals in 2012, lavender cultivation in the region has increased to about 4000 kanals of land in just about a decade, with farmers giving up traditional farming of maize and other grains in its favour.

Bharat Bhushan, who started lavender cultivation in his farm in 2010, is among the first farmers who switched over from traditional maize farming to lavender farming in Bhaderwah.

“I started with two kanals of land in 2010. I got four times more profit from lavender farming than the traditional maize cultivation and gradually, I converted my entire 10 kanals farm land into a lavender farm,” he said. Chuffed with his rising income, Bhushan spread the message of lavender farming to others. “Slowly, it began picking up in the region, which is conducive for it due to the cold climate,” he said. The lavender flowers grow in temperate areas and are drought-resistant.

A single plant bears flowers for 15 years, needs little maintenance and can be harvested from the second year of plantation onwards. The oil extracted from the plant is used in soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, room fresheners, medicines, etc. According to Bhushan, till 2016, only over a dozen farmers in Bhaderwah were into lavender farming.

“However, things changed dramatically after my video conference with PM Narendra Modi in 2016. I apprised him that farmers have to purchase lavender plants and poor farmers cannot afford it. He announced that Aroma Mission will start in J&K and lavender plants would be provided free of cost to the farmers,” he said.

The Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM) introduced lavender in the temperate regions of Jammu division under CSIR-Aroma Mission in 2017. This, as per Bhushan, saw 500-600 farmers switching over to lavender farming and 1000 kanals of land was brought under its cultivation.

Aroma Mission was extended for three years in 2020 and has been further extended by three more years from March 2023. Principal scientist at CSIRIIIM Jammu Dr Sumeet Gairola, who is also nodal officer for Aroma Mission/Purple Revolution, said at present, 2000- 2500 farmers in Bhaderwah are engaged in lavender farming and about 4000 kanals of land are under lavender cultivation.

“When lavender farming started in Bhaderwah in 2010, only two to four farmers had shown interest in it and about 6-8 kanals of land was under lavender cultivation. After the introduction of Aroma Mission, lavender farming picked up on a large scale in and farmers began giving up traditional farming in its favour,” he said. Asked what incentives are provided to farmers intending to switch over to lavender farming, he said the planting material is provided free of cost to farmers owning land up to 4 kanals.

“We also provide technical expertise to farmers and install distillation units at centrally located places, where farmers can sell their yield”.

In Bhaderwah, CSIR-IIIM Jammu has installed 10 distillation units and two more are in the pipeline. The lavender flowers are harvested from May end till Juneend. On an average, a farmer gets about Rs 10,000 for one kg of oil produced from lavender flowers. The average per kanal yield of lavender is 2.5 kgs oil. Another farmer, who has switched over to lavender farming, said he used to make Rs 2500 per kanal from maize cultivation which has gone up to Rs 20,000 per kanal after switching to lavender cultivation

. “It is more profitable and needs less maintenance,” he said. PM Modi recently mentioned the ‘purple revolution’ in Bhaderwah in ‘Mann Ki Baat’. “Today, along with lavender, the fragrance of their success is spreading far and wide,” he said.


A lavender plant bears flowers for 15 years, needs little maintenance and can be harvested from second year onwards. A farmer gets about Rs 10,000 for one kg of oil produced from lavender flowers, used in soaps, cosmetics, perfumes and medicines. The average per kanal yield of lavender is 2.5 kgs oil


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