Correspondent NORTH LAKHIMPUR, March 6 - The prevailing inclement weather has severely affected the muga silk production of Dhakuwakhana in Lakhimpur district. According to information, hundreds of families engaged in this farming are in dire straits as their muga silk production has dipped abnormally in the wake of inclement weather coupled with heavy rainfall.
Muga silk worms at a farmer’s yard at Dhakuwakhana. – Photo: North Lakhimpur Correspondent
Speaking to The Assam Tribune, Jitul Saikia, who is a leading entrepreneur associated with muga silk industry, informed that muga silk industry in the area has been hit hard by the prevailing weather condition and the overall production is likely to fall. “Several families have now started muga rearing and this year we were expecting business worth Rs 2 crore, but seeing the prevailing situation, it will be less,” he claimed.
Saikia, who is also the director of Wild Silk North East, an NGO working for conservation, promotion and commercialization of the muga silk, informed that in view of the rising demand for muga silk, several youths of Dhakuwakhana have come forward, but they are now in a quandary considering the gravity of the situation. He also underscored the need for introducing insurance schemes to cover the muga farmers in order to mitigate their losses. Earlier, adverse climate conditions impacted Som plantations across Dhakuwakhana.
Saikia while sharing his inputs with this correspondent observed that a special policy for the muga farmers is the need of the hour to help the poor families. “As you know, muga silk has a huge demand in the global market, and our farmers can tap a sizeable market at the international level through their products. Therefore, a concrete policy to encourage them is a must,” he said.
According to a report, there has been a decline in muga production over the years, and in the past few years the State has been producing much lesser than the expected target of 150 metric tonnes per year.