ERICULTURE ---A BIOPROSPECTING FOR SUPPLEMENTING LIVELIHOODPresentation Transcript
ERICULTURE - A BIOPROSPECTING FOR SUPPLEMENTING LIVELIHOOD, ENVIRONMENT AND FOOD SECURITY IN RURAL AND SEMI URBAN INDIA Monica Chaudhuri (nee Mukhopadhyay) Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute Berhampore - 742101, West Bengal Email: [email_address] Eri Research Cell December 30 , 2009
The commentary is aimed at expounding how naturally existing, specific biological materials are utilized by rural and semi urban communities for supplementary income while conserving the local environment, ecology and improving food security.
What is ericulture
Ericulture is maintenance/ sourcing of food plants/ leaves, rearing eri silkworm, spinning cocoon shells and weaving endi fabrics
6 broods of polyvoltine Eri silkworm ( Samia ricini D) can be reared indoor in a year producing white, yellowish or brick-red, open ended cocoons
Its natural distribution covers North-Eastern part of India, China and Japan.
Samia ricini D has its origin in the Brahmaputra valley
Found in the sub Himalayan region of N-E and in dense semi-deciduous forests of central and eastern India
Polyphagous but feed of leaves of primary host Castor (Ricinus communis L. ) scores the best cocoon harvest
About 90% of the Indian eri silk is castor-based and 98% of castor belongs to naturally thriving flora
One of the centers of origin of cultivated castor is agriculturally active Gangetic regions
Castor grows almost all over India ranging from poor sandy to rich alluvial soil
In humid tracks it becomes excessive luxuriant and may assume semi-perennial form
Withstands drought and slightly acidic soil but not high alkalinity and water-logging.
Ericulture for livelihood
Acts as an antidote in providing income to the landless workforce who utilize locally grown castor plants for rearing throughout the year
Expert knowledge, high capital investments, costly instruments, established infrastructure facilities, thorough maintenance and professionalism in management are not required
Assures a definite return with very little capital investments
Activities involved are of light nature and provides opportunities of earning for otherwise idle manpower
Women have been predominant in rearing and weaving of eri raw silk and endi textiles
The activities help to come out of acute poverty and render these women economic stability and more social empowerment
The pupae are used as food in NE India
Pupae are also utilized as fish meal. The dead larvae, pupae and moths are used as poultry feeds. The litters can be used for mushroom culture
The dead and dried host plants/parts indirectly reduce the pressures for deforestation and forest degradation
The litters and leaf excess contribute to soil carbon sequestration
The entire shell is utilized for spinning. The silk waste is used for making selvedge
It is a low capital investment but high output source of income for rural and semi urban communities
Utilization of attention-driven human labour is more in smaller farms
The presence of self-employment is more in smallholdings
Prevalence of a significant positive relationship between hired labour use and the size of land holding and an inverse relation between the family labour use and the size of land
Additional income from by-product: pupae
Cocoons are converted into yarn by spinners in the second stage of activity
Yarn is made into fabrics by weavers. Eri silk has texture of natural silks, thermal quality of wool and feel of cotton
Employment and income generation at each stage of production are summed up to get total income and employment generated in ericulture total
Castor, the predominant primary food plants are available plenty in nature
On cultivation it provides dual income through ericulture and oil-seeds as well
Castor oil has innumerable eco-friendly industrial, pharmaceutical and cosmetic utility.
Economics of ericulture with family labour for both castor cultivation and silkworm rearing [Unit:1ac] Contd… 4.88 5.37 4.99 4.29 Cost Benefit ratio 93,945.00 38,695.00 30,945.00 24,305.00 Net Income (Rs.) 1,17,950.00 47,550.00 38,700.00 31,700.00 Gross Income (Rs.) 49,200.00 68,750.00 19,800.00 27,750.00 16,200.00 22,500.00 13,200.00 18,500.00
Cut cocoon @ Rs. 300 / kg
Pupa @ Rs. 50 / kg
164 1375 66 555 54 450 44 370
Cut cocoon (kg)
24,005.00 8,855.00 7,755.00 7,395.00 Total expenditure (A + B) 14,870.00 5,990.00 4,890.00 3,990.00 Rearing cost in Rs. (B) Dfls, disinfectants (Formalin & bleaching powder), depreciated cost of rearing shed and appliances) 1565 630 515 420 Rearing capacity of eri silkworm (dfl) 18820 7580 6190 5050 Leaf yield (kg) 9,135.00 2,865.00 2,865.00 3,405.00 Total cost of establishment & maintenance in Rs. (A) 8,625.00 2,865.00 2,865.00 2,895.00 Input cost (Rs.) (270 cft FYM, NPK @ 48:16:16 kg/ ac, 2 kg seed, insecticide & fungicide) 510.00 -- -- -- -- -- 510.00 --
Operational cost (Rs.)
Total Year 3 Year 2 Year 1 Item
* (@ Rs. 80/- per mday) for pit digging, FYM & NPK application, seed sowing and inter-cultural operations. 3.88 4.37 3.95 3.32 Cost Benefit ratio 87,765.00 36,675.00 28,925.00 22,165.00 Net Income (Rs.) 6,180.00 2,020.00 2,020.00 2,140.00 Operational cost (Rs.) Labour cost* In case of hired labour for castor cultivation and family labour for silkworm rearing 1.37 1.43 1.38 1.29 Cost Benefit ratio 32,110.00 14,315.00 10,640.00 7,155.00 Net Income (Rs.) 55,655.00 22,360.00 18,285.00 15,010.00 Rearing cost (Rs.) labour 6,180.00 2,020.00 2,020.00 2,140.00 Operational cost (Rs.) Labour cost* ADDITIONAL COST ON LABOUR @ RS. 80.00 PER MANDAY In case of hired labour both for castor cultivation and silkworm rearing Total Year 3 Year 2 Year 1 Item
Adoption of spinning and weaving of raw silk adds more to the family income.
Eri, the ‘Ahimsa’ silk is used for robes, made-ups and blending material for wool.
High market demand nationally and internationally due to longer durability and multifarious utility of eri silk.
High export potential helps in earning foreign revenues.
Ericulture for environment
India, one of the 12 mega biodiversity countries of the world has 46,000 plant and 81,000 animal species including numerous sericigenous fauna and supporting flora
E riculture does not disturb the existing natural ecosystems of 13 biosphere reserves for conservation of biological resources
The host plants of eri silkworms are mostly nature grown.
Biodiversity and varied ecosystems act as natural defenses against the impacts of climate change. Drought-resistant castor maintains green covers even during scanty rainfall period and checks soil erosion
Castor can be maintained as zero tillage, surface seeding crop
It reduces input requirements and cost of cultivation, enhances scope for crop diversification and improved soil health.
Reduced/zero tillage and timely planting/ self generating seeds result in saving water, fuel, herbicide, and equipment while increasing yields and farmer profits.
Castor thrives as road/canal/railway-track plantations. In several sacred groves it flourishes undisturbed.
Rural communities engaged in ericulture also increase host plant covers in the form of agroforestry, community forestry, farm forestry, interface forestry, village woodlots, block plantations, strip plantations, improved fallow and alley cropping.
High CO 2 concentration in the air increases its assimilation in castor leaves uniquely from 18-20 to 59-78 mg CO 2 /dm/2/hr. acting towards climatic conservation
Ericulture can ideally be termed as one of Permaculture practices
Ericulture for food security
Govt. supported forward and backward linkages ensuring buying power of food
Being health friendly, eri silk powder is also added to food, medicines, cosmetics and soft drinks.
Proteins, vitamins, HDL fats and amino-sugar enriched pupae have been dietary delicacy almost all over NE India since time immemorial.
Making use of otherwise unutilized foliage of the crop without affecting economic yield.
Strengthening 50 Eri farm-cum-grainages, supporting 2,000 rearing house construction, free start-up tools for 1,25,000 Eri farmers and augmenting eri perennial food plants in 11,850 acres during the XI Plan under CDP targeting 2390 mt of eri raw silk
Establishing cocoon markets and Eri spun mills, supplying 5,000 improved motorized eri spinning wheels and providing market support to Eri silk products.
3 Eri spun silk mills at Hindupur. Kokrajhar and Guwahati are established.
Collaborative project flushed 100 apparel products, receiving a good market response
In Ericulture each and every product or by-product has potential utility and scope for adding to livelihood.
Simultaneously, silk aficionados get new ranges of eco-friendly and natural products.
Higher employment potential is well suited to utilize the abundant human resources in rural India.
Secured earning ensures upward socio-economic mobility of the practicing communities.
The activities synergistic with climate resilient growth in varied eco zones ensure improved food security.
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