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Eri culture as means of livelihood stressed

By Correspondent

MANGALDAI, March 6 � � Since my childhood I have been engaged in eri culture with my parents and grand parents. We used to produce eri silk worms or cocoons only for our house hold needs. But such traditional eri culture in a very limited manner is not justified in the present times. Today the rural eri farmers should come forward to undertake this culture in a much extended way to cover almost the whole village, � said Punya Lata Daimary, the national award winning eri farmer of Udalguri.

The ideal eri farmer was sharing her experience with hundreds of other eri farmers of Darrang and Udalguri who were participating in the �Eri Krishi Vigyan Mela� organised by the Central Silk Board (CSB), Azara, Kamrup (R) under the Ministry of Textiles, Govt of India at District Library Auditorium here on Tuesday. The veteran eri rearer while participating in the inaugural function further said, � if you want to succeed you must not lose patience and leave it in the middle. At the beginning I myself suffered serious loss. However, I didn�t give up and so today I can earn about Rs 3 lakh per year. Now I am able to bear the school admission fee of Rs 25,000 of my grand children and looking after my big family.�

Addressing the participants from the chair, Dr Bijoy Kr Singh, Scientist (D) and in-charge of Muga Silk Worm Seed Production Centre, Guwahati under CSB highlighted the objectives of such melas as an eye opener for the eri farmers of the area regarding proper plantation of saplings of castor , kesseru and tapioca on which the silk worms depend for feed and application of new scientific techniques for better production. He stressed the need of developing eri culture as a potential means of rural livelihood. The inaugural function was also addressed by Chitta Ranjan Das, Joint Director, State Sericulture Department and Dr Mamani Sahu, Scientist (D) and in charge Eri Silk Worm Seed Production Centre (ESSPC), Azara among others. Two progressive woman eri farmers of Bandiya Chapori area, Mangaldai, Anowara Begum and Ashina Khtaun were also awarded in the function which was earlier inaugurated by Razvee Hussain, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Darrang by lighting the ceremonial lamp.

The inaugural session was followed by technical session where scientists and senior sericulture officials including Dr Banka Bihari Singh, Scientist (D), ESSPC, Azara , BK Hazarika, Prashanta Das participated as the resource persons. They threw light on many relevant subjects like systematic plantation and rearing technology supported by slide show presentation. Superior production quality of the newly-developed C2 breed of Eri silkworm and problems faced by the farmers were also discussed in the technical session amid interactions with the participating farmers. An exhibition on scientific eri culture was also organised outside the auditorium to motivate the local farmers.

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