PM releases rose scented variety of geranium developed by CSIR-IIIM.

JAMMU/NEW DELHI, Sept 26: Determined to boost the agriculture and allied sectors in the country through revolutionary methods, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today interacted with prospective farmers of various States through Doordarshan live feed to have a feed back about the growing of aromatic plants and urged them to take full advantage of research based crops developed by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).

Mr Modi, who was interacting with the farmers on the occasion of Platinum Jubilee celebrations of CSIR through DD live feed from New Delhi also spoke with two farmers from remote areas of Jammu region.

He sought their views on growing of aromatic plants in their fields. On the occasion, the Prime Minister also released a scented variety of rose developed by CSIR, Jammu.

The two farmers with whom Prime Minister interacted from Union Capital included Subash Chander from Kishtwar district and Bharat Bhushan of Bhaderwah in Doda district of Jammu region. Both these farmers were growing aromatic plants provided to them by Integrated Institute of Medicines(IIM) Jammu for last five years which has improved their economy five to 10 times in comparison to traditional crop grown by them.

Both these farmers informed Modi about the benefits they have got after planting aromatic plants. Bharat Bhushan of Bhaderwah who grows the Lavender an aromatic plant which produces oil that is used for production of cosmetics and perfume, informed the PM that one kg of oil fetches Rs 10,000 for him and per kanal of land gives a yield of two kgs of oil. He has converted all the 20 kanals of land which he possesses for cultivation of aromatic plant. When Prime Minister asked him that the plant is destroyed in case water accumulates around it, Bushan said that the land in Bhaderwah is steep, hence, it has no threat of water stagnation.

When Prime Minister asked him does not the plant catch any disease, Bhushan said that the plant faces the disease threat if grass grows around it hence they remove entire grass from the field and don’t allow it to grow. The farmer informed the Prime Minister that the profit got by him after growing the aromatic plant was five times more that of the traditional crop grown by him earlier. The PM also wanted to know from him that how many more farmers were motivated by him for this kind of farming, Bhushan said eight more farmers are growing the Lavender in Bhaderwah. The farmer also informed the Prime Minister that he has grown his own nursery for Lavender and CSIR purchases the cutting from him for distribution among other farmers.

Subash Chander a farmer from Galhar Kishtwar who also grows the medicinal and aromatic plants in his apple orchard informed Modi that 250 farmers have started growing of these plants after being motivated by him. He said he has grown 30,000 plants in his 20 kanals of land through IIM, Jammu. These plants need shade so he has planted them in the apple orchard, Chander informed Prime Minister, adding that CSIR provides him marketing by purchasing the produce and in case the crop is more then they sell it through open market. He also informed that his yearly turnover is around Rs 10 lakh. Chander further informed the PM that his income has increased by 10 times after growing this plant in his land. During the function the Prime Minister also released a newly developed rose scented variety by CSIR, Jammu and this variety was distributed among the 20 farmers of Jammu at IIIM Experimental Farm Chatta.

Madhavi Sharma comperer from Jammu acted as mediator. The scientists of IIIM informed that the newly released variety of rose scented Geranium yields essential oil and this crop has tremendous demand both in domestic as well as global market. The per kg of oil produced from the rose sells at a premium price of Rs 12000 to Rs 15000 in the market.

Over 500 farmers drawn from different parts of the State attended the function. PTI adds from New Delhi that Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked the research community to come up with a scientific solution to increase crop-yield keeping in mind the shrinking land and water resources and stressed the need for bringing in “right” stakeholders so that the benefit of technology can reach the common man. He also emphasised on pursuing the goal of “time-bound delivery” of research projects to make their fruits available to the masses.

“Now that we are in the 75th year…We take forward the single point agenda of time-bound delivery,” the Prime Minister said at CSIR’s Platinum Jubilee event in New Delhi. Referring to the water and land shortage, he said, “I have always said per drop more crop. We must also think about an inch of land and a bunch of crops. Modi, who is also the President of CSIR, asked the scientists to work on increasing the production of vegetables to not only address domestic needs, but also for exports. The Prime Minister exhorted scientists to undertake “innovative research” especially in areas of health care, agriculture, water resources, waste management and the cleaning of the Ganga. Emphasising the need to have ease of doing ‘Technology Business’, he asked CSIR to “bring in right stakeholders so that the benefit of technology can reach the common man”. “A technology is considered successful if it benefits the common man. At times we invent something, but the common man is unaware of it. Can it be modified by as per the needs of the common man?”, the PM asked. He asked CSIR to explore new areas like sports research and manufacturing mobile batteries with longer life.

The Prime Minister also underlined the need for creating a value chain among research institutes, industry, NGOs, service providers and consumers. He proposed channelizing research funds in a “more effective way” and asked the Ministry to create a website on which all research grants and the work undertaken by scientists in different laboratories could be listed. This will, he said, ensure that there is no duplicity in research, which can save both time and money.

Modi said the Government intends to double the farmers income by 2022 for which he asked the scientists to develop some new varieties of crops. “If you can develop varieties of dal (pulses), then it can be used in rain-fed areas and give a boost to production. It will also help to address the shortage of proteins in the body,” he said. The Prime Minister said the 21st century is a technology driven century and “it is important to connect science with the common citizens in this century”. Modi also interacted with farmers from Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Jammu and Kashmir. He said technology should be developed taking into consideration the needs of present. “Sometimes we keep on conducting researches on things which will be used after 50 or 100 years. We should use science to combat problems we are facing now. This is very much important for a country like India,” he said. Noting that the CSIR has done a great deal of work in the health sector, Modi asked how can the institution help combat diseases like tuberculosis, dengue, malaria and chikungunia. “It is necessary to conduct time-bound researches in these areas. Can we develop a test kit which can help diagnose the diseases. The medical science has become technology driven and there is an opportunity here,” Modi said, asking if these issues could be addressed on a mass scale. He said the world talks about yoga and ayurveda asked if researches can be carried out in that area.

Noting that unhygienic condition is the major cause of illness among poor, Modi implored the scientists to create “wealth from waste”.

“With this, we can also address the problem of drinking water,” the PM said.

He also urged the recipients of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award to mentor students of any school or college and “gift” scientists to the nation.

“By 2022, when India celebrates its 75 years of Independence, we can give the country scientists in a time- bound manner and can fulfil the needs of the country,” the Prime Minister said.