India success story of CSIR Technology absorption - efforts at grassroots - level developmental work

Cultivation of Medicinal and Aromatic plants

Cultivation and processing of aromatic and medicinal plants including mushrooms have opened new opportunities for income generation in rural sector. CSIR Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM) at Jammu has developed and standardized cultivation and processing technologies in case of lavender, lavendin, rose, clarysage, rosemary, rose geranium and tagetus. These high value plants have excellent cash benefit ratio.

A new variety of true lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) evolved through vigorous selection having high content of lavender oil (>1.6 %) and high content of linalool (>25%) and linalyl acetate (> 48%) content. Linalool and linalyl acetate are the two markers and criteria for its quality parameters. Value added products of lavender like lavender water were also standardized. Lavender oil and its value added products developed by the institute have been accepted well by the user industry in both national as well international markets.

CSIR IIIM at its branch laboratory at Srinagar under Public Private partnership mode has involved three progressive farmers to cultivate these essential oil bearing plants over a large area of land. Presently a land area of 100 hactare has been brought under cultivation of rose and lavender.

These aromatic plants have been selected on the basis of harvesting periods under temperate climatic conditions so that 6-7 essential oils and their value added products could be produced in one distillation plant. Thus this bio business is better protected from market fluctuations at national and international level.