Union minister of state (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Space and Atomic Energy Dr Jitendra Singh, launched 'Jammu Kashmir Arogya Gram Yojana' on Sunday.
Under this programme, the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), affiliated with the Ministry of Science and Technology, will identify thousand villages in Jammu and 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 Singh said, "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 to 1.5 lakhs per hectare per annum," he added.
Explaining the reason to start this new scheme from Jammu, Singh said, "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," he added.
Once the new scheme gets going successfully from its initial start in Jammu and Kashmir, the same will then be extended to other States and also other parts of the country as well.