HALDHA (DARRANG), Oct 15 � Assam is yet to become self-sufficient in the production of eri, muga and mulberry silk products thanks to the government�s apathy to promote this sector and reluctance on the part of the farmers to take up its farming on a commercial scale.
But things seem to be changing for the better as farmers in remote villages like Haldha, Jayantipur, Moijali, etc., along the western border of Darrang district have responded in great measure to community-oriented scientific mulberry farming leaving behind the age-old traditional methods.
The families of Kailash Chamua, Debendra Nath, Nakul Boro, Ajit Rajbongshi along with 150-odd families of Haldha and Jayantipur villages are nowadays found busy either in mulberry ( locally called meskuri) fields or in rearing silk worms in their houses. Similarly, almost everyone in the family, young and old alike, in the families of Nandeswar Nath, Kamini Barua, Mahendra Nath, Jagat Nath, etc., at village Moijali are also busy in the mulberry production fields.
This transformation has resulted after the State Sericulture Department recently adopted a promotional mulberry farming programme at a cluster level in these areas which are known for traditional farming. �This programme is aimed at promoting mulberry production through large community participation with necessary technical support,� said Ramananda Phukan, Director, Sericulture Department.
While interacting with this correspondent who visited the mulberry farms on Monday, Phukan said that under this programme, necessary infrastructure such as CRC, high yielding seeds, rearing house at an estimated cost of Rs 1.5 lakh each, accessories like trays, rakes, etc., are being provided to the farmers. The programme also covers technical training and exposure tour for farmers to other States of the country having a reputation in mulberry production.
Phukan was accompanied by other officials of the Darrang Sericulture Department, including its Assistant Director SH Dewan. It may be mentioned here that Darrang is the only other district in addition to Jorhat where this cluster-level programme was carried out.