The land of the Dancing Deer




          INTRODUCTION :- 
  The Sericulture is recognised as one of the most promising and an ideally suited Industry to the rural socio-economies developments providing employment opportunities with minimum investment and profitable return within a short gestation period. Being a labour intensive rural based Industry it offers a qualitative and quantitative change in the poverty alleviation with a chain creation of employment from unskilled farm labourer to skill artisans to all sections especially women folk. It will generate income for people living below the poverty line in the rural masses particularly for women.  
  Bishnupur district is one of the most Sericulture potential districts in Manipur, with its traditional pocket of Sericulture Village like Leimaram, Leimapokpam, Tera Khongshangbi, Awangjiri, Nambol sabal Leikai, Keinou, Nachou, Kumbi etc.. The use of silk in the district is associated since the period of Khamba Thoibi. In the field of silk weaving Utlou is famous for its silk sarees and other items such silk phanek, Enaphee etc.
At present Bishnupur District has been practicing 3(three) sectors of Sericulture such as Mulberry, Eri and Tasar. the production of Silk cocoon in the district is promising and estimated as follows by implementing the following plan schemes such as extension centre, Eri development program, Seed organisation, Mulberry development program.
  Mulberry :- 2500 Kg.
Eri:- 1500 Kg.
Oak Tassar :- 50000 Kg.
  Due to the lack of proper marketing support most of the production were locally consumed for domestic use a little quantity is marketed by the Government establishment such as grainage centres, reeling and spinning factory Takyelpat, sericulture Co-operative federation Manipur. Other private sector such as local reelers and spinners, weavers, traders, brokers etc.
Further there is a great demand of silk in both domestic and international market, so there is a great scope for development of Sericulture in Manipur particularly in Bishnupur District.
  Though Bishnupur district has 3 (three) sub-divisions Sericulture has no office in the sub-divisions level, under District Sericulture Officer Bishnupur there are 8 (eight) Farms/Centre in the district for seed production, preparation of nursery and extension service to the private. Further with the implementation of Manipur Sericulture Project the function of District Officer is dual. Under this project the district officer will act as District Project Co-ordinator in the District assisted by the counterpart staff who are looking after in the scheme areas of Bishnupur District. For phase I Manipur Sericulture Project implementation there are 7 (seven) schemes and covering 24 FOUs.  
  The following are the Farm/Centre under Bishnupur District.  
Sl. No.  Name of the Centre/Farm  Activities
1. Tasar Seed farm, Khoirentak (I) Tasar seed cocoon production
(II) Extension service.
2. Tasar Seed Farm Lamdan Khunou (I) Tasar Seed Cocoon Production
(II) Extension Service.
3. M.E.C, Wainem (I) Production of Tasar and Mulberry Seed Cocoon.
(II) Preparation of Mulberry nursery
(III) Extension Service.
4. Eri grainage Centre, Kumbi  I) Collection of Eri Seed Cocoon.
II) Preparation and distribution of Eri DFLs.
5. Mulberry Extension Centre, Mandaching  (I) Production of Mulberry Seed Cocoon.
(II) Extension Service.
6. Mulberry Extension Centre, Utlou (I) Extension Service
7. Chawki rearing Centre, Awangjiri  (I) Rearing of Mulb, Silkworm up to Chowki Stage
(II) Extension Service
8.  M.E.C, Ngangkhalawai (I) Preparation of Mulb. nursery
(II) Production of Mulb. seed cocoon
(III) Extension Service.
  North Eastern Action Plan was launched in the year 1996 by the Central Silk Board through the State Department with an aim to familiar the traditional and non-traditional pockets with the new technique of silk worm rearing in Bi-Voltine races and cultivation of improved variety mulberry and soil management. Under this scheme private farmers having acre of owned land for plantation of 1250 nos. of improved mulberry variety were selected as beneficiaries, the selected beneficiaries were given 1250 nos. of improved mulberry saplings at free of cost for plantation in their plot at the spacing 3ft. X 6ft.

The beneficiaries were given for 45 days training in the new technique of rearing , Food plant maintenance. On completion a sum of Rs. 400/- p.m and a lump sum T.A. of Rs. 100/- was awarded to each beneficiary. The program have been effectively implemented in Bishnupur District and benefited 170 nos. from 30 Village of Bishnupur. As a result of this program plantation of improved variety as well as production of high viewing Bi-Voltin Cocoons have started in the District. 
Due to the lack of fencing item in this program the beneficiaries under this scheme face the problem for protection of Mulberry trees from the cattle.
  The Manipur Sericulture project with the soft loan and technical assistance from Japan is under implementation stage in the Bishnupur district. The Project is first of its kind to be implemented in Manipur.

The objective of the Projects are :-

1. Environment protection by planting Mulberry and Eri food plants.
2. Development of Women status through Sericulture Industry.
3. Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation through Sericulture.
4. Employment generation through Sericulture.
Further the project has twin strategic objectives in the sense that it is beneficiary oriented and also aims at increasing a quality cocoon and raw silk production in Manipur. The main aim of this project has incorporated provisions for involvement women in development (WID) for employment benefits of schedule castes and schedule tribes and other poverty groups. Under this project foot hills, Community and Village waste land will be utilized for plantation of Mulberry and Eri food plants with the involvement of local villagers.

For Phase I Manipur Sericulture Project 24 F.O.U under 7 scheme villages have been shortlisted from Bishnupur District in accordance with the result of Rapid Rural Appraisal (R.R.A) Participatory Rural Appraisal (P.R.A) and baseline survey.
  A FOU comprise of 5 (five) members preferably women group from different families below poverty line (BPL) Land less farmer. Selected and sponsored by the villagers of the particular scheme area with the involvement of NGO/Co-operative societies after carrying out o joint meeting of the villager with the village representative in the chair authorising the 5 (five) members to utilise 2(two) hectare of community land for implementation of Manipur Sericulture project. In this 2 (two) hectare of land one F.O.U has to planted 17,000 nos. of mulberry saplings at 1.7 hectare and construction of Adult rearing house in 0.3 hectare.
The project will born the cost of plantation , fencing and construction of rearing house out of total cost incurred in the said works, 10% will be loan and 90% will be grant. Recovery loan will be started after 5 year moratorium period in equal 15 installments.
Group work concept such as F.O.U in the Manipur Sericulture Project is a quite new approach in Sericulture. It has been carried out by family based or Individual based activities so far members of F.O.U will do all Sericulture activities on collective manner in the Manipur Sericulture Project.
For Proper management and functioning the F.O.U members will signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Department of sericulture which contains rules and terms and conditions of F.O.U.
  For participation in the Manipur Sericulture Project 3 (Three) N.G.O from Bishnupur District have been shortlisted. The N.G.Os have to make assistance both Financial and Management support to the F.O.U members at the time of plantation and construction and other works. The amount invested by the N.G.Os will be recouped from the bill of the concerned F.O.U. In this regard Government has approved contract agreement to be entered and made between the Director of Sericulture Manipur for assistance to the F.O.Us.  
       UP DURING   2001-2002. 
  So far 4 (four) F.O.Us have started plantation during the year 1999-2000 and 2000-2001.
another 8 (eight) F.O.Us will be taken up by preparing nursery in their respective fields during 2001-2002. Success of this project depends on sincerity, Devotion and Sacrifice of the people. District Project Co-ordinator appeals to all the communities of Bishnupur District to extend their fullest co-operation to implement the project successfully otherwise it will be difficult to achieve the objectives of the said project.

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