Imphal: With an aim to encourage the local farmers to take up mulberry farming and silkworm rearing, Manipur Sericulture department launched a silk reeling and spinning unit in Bishnupur's Ngaikhong Khullen village.
This newly installed multi silk reeling cum spinning machine was set up at a cost of 5.50 lakh rupees with an aim to provide self-employment opportunities to women and to improve the overall socio-economic development of the rural populace.
Secretary, Reeling and Spinning Self Help Group, Ngaikhong Khullen, Tombi said, "Since most women folks are engaged in weaving and sericulture, we thought that it will be good to upgrade infrastructure and better facilities for silk production. So, when we approached the sericulture department and presented our proposal, they approved the project. That's how this unit has been set-up to help the women in the area."
At present, 20 local women belonging to the Self Help Group are being trained on silk reeling and spinning under two instructors, deputed by the sericulture department. The increase in silk production will help both the farmers and those engaged in raw silk production.
"It is difficult to run such training or programme without proper financial support. If the bank could support such project through loans, the programme can do a lot more. We got the cocoon from Sangaipat. During the mela, we purchased 50 kgs and with that, we are conducting this training, said a trainee, Babita.
Known as the home of mulberry silk, the northeastern state of Manipur has been associated with sericulture activities since time immemorial. Most women folks in the rural areas in the state are engaged in weaving and sericulture for domestic consumption and economy sustenance.
The silk produced in Manipur is known for its quality across the country as the region is suitable for silk project as it is blessed with the agro-climatic condition. Moreover, the region is among the few states in the country which produces all four types of silk-Mulberry, Eri, Muga and Oak Tasar.
Another trainee, Bala said, "Since we have less job opportunity here, I am happy to be part of this training because we are being trained on various processes on silk reeling and spinning."
Sericulture is a highly complex and labour intensive agro-based industry and the installation of the new machinery will ease the pressure of labour. It will also generate income as well as create employment opportunities both in rural and semi-urban areas.