73000 farmers of the state associated with lac production; women farmers being empowered

Ranchi: Positive links are being added in the efforts of Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who is sincere about the forest products market and the prosperity of the people associated with it. For this, the state government is promoting lac cultivation through Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Project and Johar Project. Efforts to increase income by connecting rural women of the state with forest produce-based livelihood are being implemented through Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Project. These farmers of rural areas are moving towards better livelihood through the cultivation of lac.

With its cultivation women are not only earning a good income but are also bringing a change in the statistics of lac production in the state. Through Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society under the Department of Rural Development, efforts are being made to increase their income through state-of-the-art training. This is done by connecting the rural women of Sakhi Mandal with the scientific cultivation of lac. With this initiative, more than 73000 rural families of the state have been connected to the scientific cultivation of lac, most of whom are very poor and rural families living near forested areas.

This year about 2000 metric tonnes of peel lac has been produced by them. Ranjita Devi of Rumkoot village of Goilkera block of West Singhbhum is earning an annual income of up to Rs 3 lakh from lac cultivation. Ranjeeta Devi has been cultivating lac using the scientific method through modern technology for the last few years. After joining Sakhi Mandal, she got training in advanced cultivation of lac. Ranjita Devi says, being from a remote area the livelihood mainly depends on forest and forest produce. In her family the work of lac cultivation was done earlier as well but after joining Sakhi Mandal they were able to cultivate lac scientifically through a 25-day CRP drive.

Thus, through Sakhi Mandal, 5 kg of ‘Bihan Lac’ (in the form of seeds) was received along with training related to modern cultivation of lac. In the cultivation of lac Ranjita Devi now earns many times more yield and profit than the expenditure. Last year she planted 300 kg of ‘Bihan Lac’ as seed, which gave her a yield of 15 quintals of lac and earned her an income of Rs 3 lakh. Through Sakhi Mandal the woman are getting better opportunities for local livelihood in our traditional profession.

Under the Mahila Kisan Empowerment Project and Johar Project, along with technical information and training for lac production for women farmers, a market for sale of the products is also being made available. Arrangements have been made for collective cultivation and sale of lac through farmer producer groups.

Women are encouraged for improved the cultivation of lac through residential training. In addition, the experiences of farmers who are already cultivating lac are also shared, so that information among themselves can be shared. In order to provide a fair market to the lac farmers and for the sale of their crops, 460 collection centres and 25 Gramin Seva Kendras are being operated across the state. Through these institutions run by rural women, farmers cultivating lac collect their produce at one place and then the collected produce is sold through Gramin Seva Kendra.

In order to encourage modern and scientific cultivation of lac, 25 days of training through CRP drive is provided to the women members of Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society supported by Sanshit Sakhi Mandal. To help lac farmers at the village level, women have been trained in selected areas as livelihood forest produce friends. Aajeevika Vanopaj Mitra helps rural families in the scientific cultivation of lacquer. Today thousands of rural women like Ashrita and Ranjita are earning a good income by joining the scientific cultivation of lac. In Jharkhand, which is rich in forest wealth, there is a remarkable change in lifestyle and livelihood by connecting rural families with forest produce-based livelihood.

“Scientific lac cultivation is transforming the lives of people living in remote rural areas of the state. About 73,000 people of the state have been connected with lac production by training them in scientific cultivation. It has been revived in many areas of the state through Women Farmers Empowerment Project and Johar Project, while better market and price of lac is being ensured to farmers through Gramin Seva Kendra and Collection Center,” said CEO JSLPS Suraj Kumar.

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