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Aromatic Crops and Floriculture  |

Aromatic Crops and Floriculture 

Context

∙ High value aromatic crops and floriculture have recently emerged as a means to supplement livelihood of Odisha’s tribal communities.

About

∙ Successful introduction of aromatic plants has been seen in Nabarangpur and Koraput districts of Odisha, where tribal farmers showed an interest in diversifying from the traditional maize crop.

∙ With the help of the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) in Lucknow, the district has recently introduced different aromatic plants such as,

∙ menthol mint (the CIM Unnati variety),

∙ rosemary (Hariyali variety),

∙ patchouli (CIM Samarth),

∙ damask roses (Ranisahiba),

∙ chamomile, 

∙ geraniums (CIM-Bharat).

∙ The favourable climate and availability of vast stretches of land offer exciting opportunities for farmers to foray into aromatic plantation, though it is an unfamiliar domain.

About aromatic plants:

∙ Aromatic plants are those that contain aromatic compounds, which are basically essential oils.

∙ These essential oils are odorous, volatile at room temperature, hydrophobic and highly concentrated compounds.

∙ They can be obtained from flowers, buds, seeds, leaves, twigs, bark, wood, fruits and roots.

∙ Aromatic plants do not face regulatory challenges medicinal plantations face.

∙ There is huge demand for aromatic plants in the market because of their diversified uses. Examples: Lemongrass, Mentha, Vetiver, Citronella, etc.

Uses:

∙ Culinary herbs: Basil, rosemary, thyme, and mint are culinary staples, adding flavor and aroma to dishes.

∙ Spices: Cumin, cloves, and star anise enrich our palates with their potent scents and taste.

∙ Medicinal plants: Lavender, chamomile, and valerian root are known for their calming and therapeutic properties.

∙ Cosmetics and perfumes: Rose, jasmine, and sandalwood essential oils are prized for their captivating fragrances in perfumes and beauty products.

∙ Aromatherapy: Essential oils from plants like eucalyptus and lemongrass can be used for inhalation or massage to promote relaxation and well-being.

∙ Insect repellents: Citronella and lemongrass oils offer natural alternatives to synthetic insect repellents.

∙ The distinct odour of lemongrass, citronella and vetiver, also repels elephants.

∙ Landscaping and gardening: Ornamental plants like fragrant roses, lilies, and lavender add beauty and fragrance to gardens and outdoor spaces.

About the Aroma Mission:

∙ CSIR’s Aroma Mission aims to increase the income of the farmers through cultivation of high value and high demand aromatic crops by about Rs. 30,000 to 60,000/ha/year.

∙ On 4th June, 2023 CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu launched the third phase of CSIR-Aroma Mission during the Lavender Festival conducted at Bhaderwah of Jammu & Kashmir, UT.

∙ It also aims to bring an additional area of 30,000 hectares under cultivation of these crops to further catalyze the cultivation of aromatic crops in about 60,000 hectares.

∙ This will help in production of an additional 700 tonnes of essential oil for perfumery, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, and use of these oils in value addition and herbal products would generate a business of at least 200 crores.

∙ About 45,000 skilled human resources capable of multiplying quality planting material, distillation, fractionation and value addition will also be developed under “Skill India” initiatives.

∙ More than 25,000 farming families would be directly benefited and an employment of more than 10-15 lakhs mandays will be generated in rural areas.

∙ Scientific interventions would provide assured benefits to the growers of Vidarbha, Bundelkhand, Gujarat, Marathwada, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and other states where farmers are exposed to frequent episodes of weather extremes and account for maximum suicides.

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