Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Space and Atomic Energy, today launched ‘Jammu Kashmir Arogya Gram Yojana’ under which the CSIR (Council for Scientific & Industrial Research), affiliated with the Ministry of Science & Technology, will identify thousand villages in Jammu & Kashmir for the growth of aromatic plants with active participation of local farmers and owners of the land. The Government will initially spend over Rs.25 crores on this scheme in addition to technical support by a team of CSIR scientists.
Elaborating on the scheme at a press conference here in New Delhi today, 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. This will not only enable the local farmers to usher in a new area of cultivation but will also prove economically beneficial to them since the net profit for the farmers through this venture has been estimated to be Rs. 1 – 1.5 lakhs per hectare per annum, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, 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.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the scheme is a part of the new innovative initiatives being under taken by CSIR and the Ministry of Science & Technology ever since he took over his present assignment over four months ago. Once the new scheme gets going successfully from its initial start in Jammu & Kashmir, the same will then be extended to other States and also other parts of the country as well, he added.
Also present at the press conference were Director General, CSIR P S Ahuja and senior scientists of CSIR.