Gajothe, a small village in Kellard area of District Doda, situated at a distance of 12 Km from the tehsil headquarters Bhalla and 28 Km from the District headquarters Doda has proudly made its identity as marigold village of the District during the last 8 years. Administratively, it comes under block and tehsil Bhalla Majority of the village land is sloped and receives scanty rainfall.
The village is not well connected with a concrete road and the villagers have to wade through mud laden kaccha track over 5-6 Km to adjoining village Malothi.
The story of the village 8 years ago was altogether different. With maize as the only traditional crop and some where apple orchards, the farmers were not satisfied as income per unit of land even with the input investment was not increasing and the productions were almost stagnant.
They were looking for some innovative ideas for incorporation in their existing farming systems to increase their income.
It was then that, one of the farmers Hind Bhushan came in contact with Krishi Vigyan Kendra Doda. He got training in floriculture and started cultivation of marigold flower on a small piece of land initially for experimentation.
After numerous failures and a span of three years, he became an established marigold farmer making significant achievements as compared to his old farming practices.
Meanwhile, many other villagers came forward and adopted marigold cultivation. The efforts of one of the farmers of the village began to sprout and bear fruits.
A marigold farmers club also got formed in the village to overcome the problems of input availability and marketing.
Today more than 220 households are undertaking marigold cultivation on more than 25 hectares area in Gajothe.
Appreciably, an annual turnover of more than Rupees 72 Lac from marigold in the entire Kellard area has been a major achievement of the farming community of Gajothe. More than 30 villages of Kellard area have witnessed the marigold bloom and farmers harvesting gold from marigold.