The Jharkhand government is encouraging scientific cultivation of lac to empower women in villages as well as reviving the process in several regions through welfare projects, officials said.
Around 73,000 farmers are engaged in lac production in the state, they said.
“Scientific lac cultivation is transforming the lives of people living in remote rural areas of the state. It has also been revived in many areas through the Women Farmers Empowerment Project and Johar Project, while better market and price of lac is being ensured for farmers,” an official statement said.
Nearly 2,000 tonnes of peel lac has been produced by farmers in 2021-22, it said.
A total of 460 collection units and 25 centers are operational across the state to facilitate the sale of lac products.
”Efforts are underway to increase the income of rural women of Jharkhand by connecting them with forest produce-based livelihood,” the statement said, citing the example of Ranjeeta Devi of Rumkoot village in West Singhbhum district, who fetches an annual income of ”up to Rs 3 lakh” from lac cultivation.
She has been cultivating lac using modern technology for the last few years, it said.
The Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society conducts a 25-day training session for women to help them understand the basics of lac cultivation.
The eastern state is the country’s leading producer of lac, which is primarily used as dye.