Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel has agreed to the forest department’s proposal to declare ‘lac cultivation’ as an agricultural activity, saying that it would make it a lucrative endeavor for the farmers.
Baghel instructed the Agriculture, Forest & Cooperative Departments to present a proposal in the next cabinet meeting to include ‘lac’ as well as other such profit-yielding produce in agriculture.
A senior government official said that “Once lac cultivation gets the status of agriculture in Chhattisgarh, farmers associated with lac production will also be able to avail easy loans through co-operative committees like other farmers”.
It is important to mention that Chhattisgarh is one of the top producers of lac in India.
According to a government press release, “Lac cultivation is being practiced by the growers on Palash, Kusum & Berry trees in a traditional manner. But due to lack of modern & systematic way of cultivation, farmers fail to derive the expected profit. In a move to make lac farming profitable for farmers, the forest department while suggesting the Chief Minister to include lac farming under agriculture & provide opportunities to lac growing farmers to avail loans via agricultural cooperative committees like other farmers, had requested him to accept the proposal sent in this regard”. It must be noted that Lac is the resinous secretion of several species of lac insects. Thousands of lac insects colonise the branches of the host trees & secrete the resinous pigment.