GUWAHATI, April 28 - A farmers� meet was held yesterday at the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), Guwahati. The meet was organised as part of the project �Empowerment of Scheduled Tribe people through rearing of eri silkworm Samia ricini Donovan in two districts of Assam�, conducted by Seri Biotech Unit, IASST and Department of Zoology, Nowgong College, Nagaon. The project was sponsored by the IASST.
In all, 20 beneficiaries belonging to different scheduled tribes such as Lalung, Karbi, Garo and Boro of Nagaon and Boko areas of West Kamrup district attended the meeting. Dr Dipali Devi initiated the programme and explained the objective of the meet. Dr Bhuban Chutia, Asst Prof from Nowgong College briefed the outcome of the project.
The beneficiaries expressed their views regarding implementation of the project and the problems faced by them during rearing. They felt that rearing of eri silkworm brings in an extra income to the households as pupae are edible (sale price of pupae at the rate of Rs 600 per kg), besides the extra amount earned from the silk yarn. They displayed some products produced during the last one year of the project period.
IASST distributed eri spinning machine �Chowdhury type Charkha,� among the beneficiaries to make eri spinning easier, replacing the traditional takuri system.
In his presidential speech, Dr NC Talukdar, Director IASST laid stress upon recording the problems faced by the farmers for taking remedial actions. Dr SN Chowdhury, retired scientist NEIST and innovator of the Charkha explained the process to operate the machine and he assured of cooperation in future also. He mentioned the beauty and usefulness of eri silk in producing other products, apart from textile.
Dr N Mohan, retired agricultural scientist and Dr M K Kalita, former registrar and academic adviser to the IASST also attended the meeting. The beneficiaries also interacted and shared their feelings with some of the scientists. Dr D Goswami, registrar IASST offered the vote of thanks, said a press release.