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Meghalaya Govt launches Aroma, Muga missions
STAFF correspondent

Models pose in muga attire during the launch of the Meghalaya Muga Mission in Shillong on Tuesday. – UB Photos
 SHILLONG, May 28 - The Meghalaya Government launched two mission mode programmes in two days following the lifting of the model code of conduct by the Election Commission of India.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma launched both the mission mode programmes – the Aroma Mission and the Meghalaya Muga Mission – on Monday and Tuesday.

The State had launched several mission mode programmes under the Agriculture Department in the months preceding the Lok Sabha elections.

“All the mission mode programmes such as the Jackfruit Mission, Milk Mission, Honey Mission and other initiatives have allowed us to focus on specific targets to be achieved in a time-bound manner. These initiatives have already started to bear great results,” Sangma said today.

Under the Aroma Mission, the Government plans to encourage cultivation of lemongrass and citronella plants on about 50 acres of land across the State. The target is to cover 1,000 hectares depending on the response of farmers, in the next five years. An amount of Rs 18 crore has been allotted to the mission.

The Muga Mission launched on Tuesday will receive a funding of Rs 130 crore from multiple sources over the next five years. The Chief Minister said the North Eastern region has a rich history and culture attached to muga silk and the identity of the region as a silk-producing region dates back to centuries.

“Our farmers sell raw silk to Assam. Increasing the production and ensuring value addition in the form of finished products will greatly improve the economic status of muga farmers,” he said.

Meghalaya produces about 30 metric tonnes of muga silk and the target is to increase the production to 43 metric tonnes. It is estimated that value addition of this raw silk will increase the production value to around Rs 200-300 crore.

Sangma informed that the Government would take the initiative for tie-ups with the industry, fashion houses and designers. The Chief Minister added that an exercise to brand the muga silk from Meghalaya would also be undertaken. Moreover, a muga farmers’ training centre will be set up at Resubelpara in North Garo Hills.

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