GUWAHATI, July 29 � The State Sericulture Department has undertaken an ambitious project to develop Batakuchi village under Bangaon Development Block of Kamrup District as a Model Muga Village. This is expected to boost the morale of the Muga farmers of the State and thus help its Muga industry.
After five years, the Department expects that the village would be able to produce 75 lakh Muga cocoons every year.
It needs mention here that the State is the owner of the Geographical Indication (GI) Rights on Muga, since this enviably golden silk yearn is its unique product.
According to Additional Director Sericulture Ranjit Kumar Sarma, the total project cost of the Model Village has been estimated to be Rs 20 lakh. Under the project, an amount of Rs 4.60 lakh has been earmarked as the working capital for 50 beneficiaries. There is a provision for 25 per cent seed subsidy for each of the farmers engaged in the project.
There will be five groups, each comprising 10 members, engaged in the project and each group will be provided with a Muga reeling machine at the total cost of Rs 0.85 lakh.
Each of the selected farmers is to plant 450 Som plants, which is the host plant for the Muga worms, Sarma said.
Batakuchi is a village of traditional Muga farmers. Located near the Assam-Meghalaya border, it has a very favourable condition for Muga farming. Between 120 and 130 families, of the total 160 families of the village, are engaged in Muga and Eri silk farming, with Muga occupying the major share.
According to Pankaj Rabha, 42, a resident of the village and a Muga farmer, all families of the village, other than his, are engaged in farming and horticulture is their mainstay. However, Pankaj is dedicated to Muga farming and he has by this time earned the reputation of a progressive Muga farmer.
Every household of the village has a handloom and every woman of the village is a skilled weaver. The new generations of its people are making advances in the area of education too. There are four to five MA degree holders, around 15 BA degree holders, and around six to seven of the village youths are doing BA at present, said Pankaj Rabha.