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Tassar silk helps tribal's on road to prosperity
Jun '10
Deep inside Jharkhand, thousands of tribal's toil hard to produce 700 tons of tassar silk, in the forests of Chirkhi, Tundi, Konar and Dumaria, which accounts for around 40 percent of India's total tassar silk production.

This project was initiated in 2004 and involved just 23 farmers who cumulatively produced just 19 tons of the silk and today that output has jumped by a staggering 3,684 percent in a period of only six years.

Speaking to fiber2fashion, Mr Dhirendra Kumar, Special Secretary and Director of Silk, Handloom and Handicraft department said, “Tasar is a traditional occupation of tribal people of Jharkhand. The state was known for raw material only and the production of Tasar Silk was only around 90 tons in 2005- 06.

“Systematic & scientific production was started in 2006-07. Shri Arjun Munda was the Chief Minister at that time. He wanted to develop Kuchai Tasar Silk of Saraikela – Kharsawan district. Today 65,000 farmers are engaged in Tasar rearing.

“They have been organized into group of 23-25 farmers. By end of 2011-12, more than 80,000 farmers will be engaged in rearing. Each farmer earns between Rs. 30,000-40,000 in a rearing spam of 45- 50 days.

“We have fixed up a target of 700 tons for this year. We have also made arrangements for providing quality commercial seeds to 65,000 farmers. More than 3,000 women are engaged in reeling & spinning of Tasar cocoon i.e., conversion of cocoons to yarn and each of these women earns around Rs 4,000- 5,000 per month from this activity.

“Apart from this, more than 6,000 handloom weavers are engaged in silk weaving, with each of the weaver able to earn between Rs 6000-8000 per month. Till date Jharcraft is providing raw material, designs and marketing support.

“After lot of persuasion, NABARD has now started supporting the weavers and has also advised the Gramin Bank to provide loans to the weavers. Vananchal Gramin Bank has sanctioned loans to seven groups of Rs 500,000 per group.

“Jharkhand Silk is certified as Organic by International Agency One Cert Asia. Jharcraft is the friend, philosopher & guide of weavers & artisans. Jharcraft provides looms & accessories, worksheds, training designs, raw material & marketing support. It is maintaining a design unit managed by designers of NIFT & NID.

“The turnover of Jharcraft was Rs. 5 million in fiscal 2007-08, Rs. 70 million in 2008-09 & is now more than Rs. 2.1 billion in 2009- 10. Jharcraft is also implementing Health Insurance & Life Insurance schemes for weavers & artisans”, he concluded by saying.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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