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Non-Timber Forest Products and Livelihood Promotion

(Vol. 14, No. 1, January-March, 2016) ISSN 0973 – 8444
Current Scenario and New Policy Interventions in the Lac Sector
R. K. Yogi*, R. K. Singh**, A. Bhattacharya* A. K. Jaiswal* & Alok Kumar*
*Scientist (Agril. Econ), TOT Division, ICAR-Indian Institute of Natural Resins and Gums, Division of Agricultural Engineering, Tata Road, Namkum, Ranchi
**ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
 
Abstract: India is the largest producer, processor and exporter of lac in the world. The dynamic complex of lac host plants like ber (Ziziphus mauritiana), kusum (Schleichera oleosa), Palas (Butea monosperma) and semialata (Flemingia semialata) and lac insect (Kerria spp.) are an important means of life support system for tribal communities across the major lac producing states of India. Natural resin secreted by the insect Kerria lacca (Kerr) is known as lac and categorized as a Non-Wood Forest Product (NWFP). Jharkhand state alone contributes around 40% of the total national lac production. This study presents an overview of lac production and recent policy interventions in the sector. A paradigm shift of lac growers from rangeeni to kusmi strain (both Kerria species) was observed during recent years due to failure of rangeeni crop. Kusmi lac fetched a greater price comparatively. Lac and its value added products make a significant contribution to the country’s foreign exchange earnings. Policy interventions like Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Non-Wood Forest Products including lac may be helpful to support lac cultivation activities and the strengthening of its marketing system. Thus, the dissemination of lac cultivation technologies and strengthening of value chain and farmer–industry linkages may play a key role to harness the opportunities available for the forest and sub-forest dwellers, lac processors, manufactures, exporters and other stakeholders. Gainful employment can be generated for migrating youths while also providing quality output to the hands of the consumer.
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