Production of Muga Silk in Assam as well as in country during the last five years period is given below, which indicates Muga silk production, has shown an increasing trend and hence, it is not on the verge of extinction.
The following statement indicates State-wise muga Silk production in the country during the last five years (2009-10 to 2013-14). It could be seen from the statement that the Assam produces substantial quantity of Muga Silk, when compared to other muga silk producing States.
Steps taken by the Government to safeguard the livelihood of muga silk farmers and escalate silk and silk production in Assam are outlined below :
In order to encourage sericulture industry and to boost the production targets, certain action plan have been prepared during the XII Plan period viz. Paradigm shift in production strategies for transforming the Indian silk industry from the subsistence level of production to a vibrant competitive commercial production base chain, extending support to reelers for increasing the storage capacity by providing Revolving Capital Fund, and Interest subsidy, producing import substitute bivoltine silk of 3A Grade through exclusive bivoltine clusters and
Seri-Business Enterprises in thrust areas of potential States strengthening R&D interventions to improve productivity and quality thereby contributes to vertical expansion, developing high yielding Cross Breed line of L14xCSR2 in Sub-tropical areas to increase the silk production developing Rain-fed mulberry areas as a special programme through moisture management, rain water harvesting, Welfare measures to primary stakeholders like- health insurance coverage and technologies to reduce drudgery, etc.
For the development of silk industry in Assam, the Government through Central Silk Board has established the following CSB Units in Assam, mainly for the development of Muga and Eri silk industry in the State. These units also extend support to the Stakeholders of silk industry in Assam and neighbouring areas :
- Regional Office at Guwahati to coordinate sericulture development activities with State and other agencies in Assam and NE Region.
- Regional Muga Research Station at Boko to provide R&D and extension support for Muga sericulture.
- Muga Silkworm Seed Organization in Guwahati with a network of one Muga SSPC at Kaliabari and one P3 Unit at Hahim (both in Kamrup Districts) for production and supply of muga basic seed for further multiplication by Govt. of Assam and private graineurs to produce quality silkworm seed.
- One Eri Silkworm Seed Production Center is also functioning at Azara in Kamrup Dist. to produce quality Eri silkworm seed.
- Regional Silk Technological Research Station, Khanapara, Guwahati to provide required R&D support in post cocoon activities.
- A Muga Raw Material Bank (MRMB) is functioning at Sibsagar in Assam with 3 Sub-Depots, at Dhakukhana, Sualkuchi (Assam) and Coochbehar (W.B) with the objective of ensuring economic and fair price to the actual muga cocoon producers.
In order to promote sericulture activities in Assam, the Government is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme viz “Catalytic Development Programme” (CDP) during the XII Plan period, in collaboration with the State Sericulture Department. Under this scheme, financial assistance is given to the Govt. of Assam to assist stakeholders including muga silk farmers through the respective Department of Sericulture. As per the requirement of Assam State for sericulture activities and based on the proposals received by CSB, the Financial assistance under CDP is provided by CSB. During the last three years period (2011-12 to 2013-14), total funds released under CDP by the Government through Central Silk Board to Assam is given below:
The following components under CDP are also implemented exclusively to support muga silk farmers :
- Support to raise kissan nurseries.
- Strengthening of muga seed multiplication infrastructure.
- Assistance to muga adopted seed rearers including construction of mounting hall.
- Assistance for muga private grainuers.
- Muga food plant development
Total Financial Assistance provided to Assam (including BTC) under CDP
2011-12 : Rs. 3,168.00 Lakhs; 2012-13 : Rs. 2,761.60 Lakhs; 2013-14 : Rs. 4,484.07 Lakhs
It’s often said that an Assamese Muga silk sari lives longer than its owner. But this home grown ‘Golden silk’ of Assam- known for its natural golden colour, fine texture, glossiness and durability is so under threat that it could soon disappear completely.
A good Muga silk sari can cost anywhere between 8,000-20,000 rupees, which means that it’s literally worth its weight in gold. And though Assam is primarily known for its tea, Muga silk is exclusive to the state, and one of its high prestige earners.