Aroma Mission Phase II follows a successful Phase I

Image used for illustrative purposes only

The global essential oils market size is projected to reach USD 11.19 Billion by 2022 and USD 15.1 billion by 2026. Dr Ramakant Harlalka and his team are closely associated with the central Government’s ‘Aroma Mission’, an initiative to increase India’s market share in essential oils besides promote India’s legacy in the field. 

The drivers for upward growth in the market for essential oils are- the trend towards preventive healthcare, coupled with an improved standard of living among consumers besides a serious demand for a ‘natural’ lifestyle. Essential oils not only act as natural ingredients for food and fragrance but also play a critical role in the spectra of natural preservation and as disinfectants. Owing to their anti-microbial actions; their demand has hiked many folds because of their use in hand and surface sanitizers during the current global pandemic of COVID-19.

Recent statistics described the extent of usage of essential oils in the following sectors: 

▪55-60% for flavors in food industry 

15-21% for fragrances in perfumery/cosmetic industry

▪10-20% as substrates for the isolation of a specific active component 

▪5-10% as actives in pharmaceutical preparations and

▪2-5% for natural products

 Understanding the need of essential oils & its role as a potent immune booster during this COVID-19 situation, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi is all set to establish the Phase II of “Aroma Mission” to catalyze rural empowerment via cultivation, processing, value addition & marketing of essential oil crops in India.

Besides the superlative activity of essential oils, the cultivation of aroma crops is highly advantageous because of their ability to grow well in:

– Saline soils / sodic soils

– Rain fed lands with minimal irrigation

-Degraded lands/ barren lands / wastelands

These aroma crops can sustain adverse climatic conditions & due to high content of essential oils they are: 

– Pest repellent 

– Disease resistant and

– Unavailable for grazing (strong aroma repels the wild & domestic animals).

One of the hindrances in the cultivation of essential oil crops is the shrinking land availability & high cost of farming. To have an excellent yield (qualitatively & quantitatively), it is imperative to have supreme quality planting material which are high yielding & agro-climate specific. The other factor impacting the cultivation of aroma crops (rather the type of crops cultivated) are the existing conditions & market status of the essential oil-centric industries (personal care, fragrance, flavors, cosmeceuticals etc). For example during this current pandemic crisis, majority of the land will be diverted towards the cultivation of essential oil crops which exhibit health & hygiene benefits like:

– Anti-microbial properties for sanitizer & surface disinfectant applications.

– Decongestant & Mucolytic properties to ensure a healthy respiratory tract.

Parallely, there would be a visible decline in demand of essential oils for applications in gutkha and pan masala.


Following is the list of essential oil crops that would be cultivated under present conditions on a large scale owing to its respective cosmeceutical activity:

Author: Ms. Sadhna Sanjay Kini 

Associate Manager (International Business Development)

Guide: Mr. Ramakant Harlalka