Embracing a paradigm shift in agriculture, Indian farmers are delving into the cultivation of aromatic crops, not only to diversify but also to escalate their profits. The Indian government provides encouragement and support for such ventures through initiatives like the Aroma Mission.
Aromatic Crops: The New Green Gold
The spectrum of aromatic crops includes lemongrass, geranium, vetiver, mint, and ashwagandha. Each of these crops has a unique fragrance and multiple uses. Lemongrass is known for its application in perfumes and other fragrant products and can be cultivated throughout the year. Geranium oil, extracted from the plant, is employed in pharmaceuticals, soaps, and beauty products. Formerly cultivated predominantly abroad, geranium is now being grown in India in moderate quantities.
Mint, another aromatic plant, has versatile uses in pharmaceuticals, beauty products, and as a flavoring agent. The vetiver plant serves as a treasure trove with its roots, leaves, and flowers being used in high-end perfumes, fragrant substances, and medicines. India currently holds the title of the largest producer of mint oil globally.
States Leading in Aromatic Crops Cultivation
States like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh have taken the lead in large-scale cultivation of these crops. Ashwagandha, recognized for its medicinal properties, is used extensively in Ayurvedic and Unani medicines, adding another dimension to the benefits of cultivating aromatic crops.
Guidance and Training for Farmers
The Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) is at the forefront of equipping farmers with knowledge and skills for aromatic crop cultivation. Farmers seeking to venture into this novel domain can visit the institute's website or contact them via email to enhance their cultivation methods.
Despite the potential challenges in the cultivation of local aromatic rice in regions like Dinajpur, farmers are adapting to modern cultivation methods, leading to a resurgence in aromatic crop farming. The shift towards cultivating hybrid and BR-34 paddy, despite the initial decline, underscores the resilience and adaptability of the Indian farming community.