Sericulture activities will be a viable option for alternative cash crops in the hill region considering both the cultural and moral perspectives, Manipur Sericulture director Bidyarani Ayekpam said on Tuesday.
Ayekpam was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the inaugural programme of Sericulture Krishi Mela cum Exhibition organised by the Regional Sericulture Research Station, Imphal at its office at Mantripukhri in Imphal East.
Pointing out that the state is facing shortages of raw material for sericulture products despite having big market facilities and prospects of silk industries, the director stressed the need of giving emphasis on making Manipur self-sufficient in cocoon.
“As we all know that sericulture related products are related to the indigenous products of Manipur, silk fabric has high demand in the state and the market is indeed big,” she said.
Having enough area of silk food plantation on top of numerous traditional expertise on reeling silk as it was a customary practice in every household is a great advantage to make Manipur a potential silk hub, she added.
Elaborating the role of the Sericulture directorate, she said that the officials are giving their best effort to let the farmers aware that sericulture activities can be taken lucratively for a sustainable economy.
As an initiative, the directorate and other concerns have been facilitating the farmers by ways of providing technically hand holding with scientifically improved ways for more productivity, she said, adding such a mela is one of its kind to make farmers avail all the possible support.
The director also informed that the recent Central Silk Board meeting held at Bangalore had sanctioned a project for taking up Mulberry, Eri and Tasar activities in Manipur.
During the programme, various experts also spoke on Host Plant Management, Silkworm Disease Management and Silkworm Rearing Technology while various sericulture farmers of Manipur also shared their experiences.
The inaugural programme was also attended by chairman of Manipur State Sericulture Co-operative Federation Ltd Th Surjaboro Singh; director of Central Muga Eri Research and Training Institute KM Vijaya Kumari and Scientist-D and Head Y Debaraj as presidium members.