With a growing global perfume market, aromatic cultivation can emerge as an alternative to traditional farming in Uttarakhand and draw people back to agriculture, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said on Wednesday.
"Due to their ability to survive difficult climatic conditions, aromatic crops are establishing themselves as wonderful cash crops. The international perfume industry deals in billions. Cultivation of aromatic crops can draw people back to farming in Uttarakhand," Dhami said while inaugurating a centre for the development of aromatic plants in Selaqui near here.
The Chief Minister spoke of how the monkey menace, weather and terrain-related challenges had forced people in Uttarakhand to quit farming.
"Growing aromatic crops can lure them back to agriculture as its market is growing all over the world," he said adding the centre has been opened to give a push to aromatic cultivation in the state.
Seven aroma valleys will be opened in Uttarakhand including a lemongrass and mint valley in Haridwar, Cinnamon valleys in Nainital and Champawat, Damask rose valleys in Chamoli and Almora, mint valley in Udham Singh Nagar, Timur valley in Pithoragarh and a lemongrass valley in Pauri district, Dhami said.
By growing cinnamon, timur, surai and damask rose plants at the high-tech nursery, it will be easier to develop barren lands into fields and orchards of aromatic crops and plants, he said.