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Industrial Indian Research Institute focuses on Cultivation of Aromatic & Medicinal Crops generating Employment to Rural Youth & Doubling Farmers’ Income

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
crops
Palmarosa nursery seeding under progress in Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh

The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), India is well known for its cutting edge technologies and patents delivered in several areas from transdisciplinary areas. CSIR has a pan-India presence, with a network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Complexes & 5 units. A number of scientists are supported by scientific and technical personnels.  In the wake of  CSIR@80: Vision & Strategy 2022 – New CSIR for New India, CSIR’s mission is “to build a new CSIR for a new India” and CSIR’s vision is to “Pursue science which strives for global impact, the technology that enables innovation-driven industry and nurtures trans-disciplinary leadership thereby catalyzing inclusive economic development for the people of India”. 

Under the aegis of the Vision CSIR has undertaken an Aroma Phyto Pharmaceutical mission cultivation of aromatic crops like lavender, rosemary, mint, vetiver, lemon grass, palmarosa, ocimum, patchouli, lavender, tagetes and lemon grass and medicinal plants like ashwagandha , satavar, senna, curcuma, kalmegh etc since 2016.

They have been progressing in rural areas which are largely affected by climate change. Areas selected are unproductive and marginal lands, salinity and drought stricken. The main focus is on North and North Eastern states and some south Indian states like Karnataka and Tamilnadu and Madhya Pradesh. 

Installation of processing unit cum demonstration on extraction of Chamomile essential oil at Rure ke kalan village in Barnala district, Punjab

Many exceptionally brilliant work has been undertaken by CSIR and its associate Institutes for improving the yield & assuring a stable income to the farmers. Many improved varieties of aromatic crops like Rosa damascena, Tagetes minuta, Valeriana jatamansi, Artemisia maritima and Dracocephalum heterophyllum were released by Hon’ble Governor of HP, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya. These improved varieties have been developed under CSIR Aroma Mission by CSIR,IHBT ,Palampur, HP. Menthol mint's newly developed variety, CIM Unnati shared by a farmer, Sh. Ram Kishor Verma, village Davendhapur, Mahmudabad, Sitapur. This variety was released under CSIR Aroma Mission this year, on 31st January, on the occasion of CSIR,CIMAP, KISAN MELA. 

Under Successful lavender cultivation under CSIR Aroma Mission, 200 farmers of Bhaderwah of Doda district, J&K has been benefitted. By adopting this kind of farming they are helping achieve the dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat. Many other initiatives like Palmarosa nursery seeding is under progress in Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh under HCL Foundation sponsored project under CSIR Aroma Mission. Under this the farmers of Hardoi district are receiving remunerative prices for Lemongrass and Palmarosa essential oils extracted by them. CSIR, CIMAP provided the market link up to these farmers under the CSIR Aroma Mission's collaborative project funded by HCL Foundation, enabling them to sell their extracted essential oils. 

CSIR, IHBT, Palampur is conducting installation of processing unit cum demonstration on extraction of Chamomile essential oil at Rure ke kalan village in Barnala district, Punjab for the eco friendly society of farmers under CSIR AROMA MISSION. 

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An MoU has been signed between CSIR ,IHB and Society for Technology and Development, Mandi, HP (NGO) under CSIR Aroma Mission for promotion of aromatic plants in aspirational district Chamba of HP on June 12, 2020. Wild marigold variety, Him Swarnima (12 kg seed) also provided to the society for plantation in farmers' fields at Chowari block, Chamba, HP. 

CSIR, NBRI distributed about 100 kg rhizomes/seed of turmeric variety, Kesari under CSIR Aroma Mission to farmers of Unnao district, Uttar Pradesh. Additionally, another 100 kg were sent to the farmers of aspirational district Nabrangpur, Odisha. The CSIR,IHBT Palampur has distributed around 50 kg seeds of Wild marigold variety, Him Swarnima to the farmers of aspirational district Chamba, Himachal Pradesh for plantation in 45 acres of land. In addition, about 46 kg seeds were sent by post to different farmers of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand for plantation in 40 acres of land. 

There are many distillation units established under the leadership of CSIR. Distillation Unit for Geranium is in Badaun district of Western Uttar Pradesh. It is very interesting to read about the Harvesting and distillation of menthol mint herb which is  already in progress in tribal farmers cluster of Dushkiya in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. This year mint is being cultivated by a large number of farmers in more than 35 tribal villages of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Lakhimpur, Uttar Pradesh under CSIR Aroma Mission. Introduction of Menthol mint and Citronella through CSIR,CIMAP interventions in Malgoan tribal cluster of Kondagaon, Bastar for the purpose of crop diversification for further sustainable production of aromatic crops in this region. Tribal farmers of Anamalai Tiger Reserve has also been supplied with aromatic slips and seeds. 

The introduction of new high yielding varieties of Lemongrass and improved processing units has enhanced the farmers' crop yields by three folds. A visible change in the economic status of farmers was also  noticed in an area frequently affected by cyclones and Tsunami. 

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