126.96.36.199 Lac cultivation, livelihood generation and rural economy:
Lac cultivation is a less investment orientated simple cultivation process and requires only a part time attention of the cultivators, farmers and could be very suitable for tribal as well as for rural peoples. As the investment is really very low and with subsidy or help from the government backward groups Balsore district poses huge scope for lac cultivation as a significant source of natural resin and can secure or strengthen the rural economy.
Consecutive flood condition and alternate physiographical and agricultural drought causes significant damage to the paddy cultivation and threatens the income of poor farmers. The cultivation of lac can provide sufficient scope for the farmers to keep the economy stable by cultivating lac. The foot hills, laterite tracts are mainly considered as degraded land and used for afforestation, quarrying etc. But if these lands are used for lac cultivation then keeping the environmental sustainability, large income generation can be possible. Tribal peoples or the rural people living at the vicinity of the forested land, either natural or manmade can easily adopt the cultivation as part time job withsignificant profit.
Except the business owners can earn profit ranging from Rs 75000/-to Rs 200000/- per annum if correct method is followed. A significant amount of labour engagement is also significant as male and females are engaged in the activity at a wage of Rs150/- per day. It is estimated that from each host plant palas (Butea monosperma) ber (Zizyphus mauritiana ) , Kusum (Schleichera oleosa) Rs 1000/-to Rs 8240/- per annum income can be generated (Lakra, n.
d) . The best location for the lac cultivation is an open space as the lac cultivation is requires open air circulation around the host plant species is assured. In a suitable open space quite fast growing host species with low sap density can be considered as most suitable.
188.8.131.52 Importance of lac culture: Lac can be considered as an important source of resin from animal origin and and it also has diverse economic importance. There are some important of lac cultivation i) This is a good source of livelihood resource for poor farmers ii) this can act as important source of income in the drought effected years iii) even this can be give income source ane engagement of the rural farmers in the months facing scarcity of rainfall and could bring drought condition. Iv) it has no competition with other horticultureal, agricultural crops for land and farm operation v) this can restrict rural population migration to the urban areas for secure income and bring suitable standard of living. Vi) Marginal degraded land and wide foot plain , lateritic land can be used and probably most suitable grown.vii) Dont harm host tree health
nither any of the neighbouring flora and fauna. Viii) Women can attain a great opportunity for better occupational engagement and return from that.
184.108.40.206 Steps for further progress and policy intervention:
Lac cultivation has been adopted by a population cluster in Nilagiri block. The trend of lac production is showing a significant fluctuation. The lack of the profit is reducing the interest on the cultivation. Except this lack of finance, infrastructure, poor technology, high capital investment makes the cultivation, economy unstable. So to keep the lac cultivation in its own form, that it should be, NSKS with the help of SHGs introduced a project to make the people especially womens know about lac & its utility in various sectors. In 2015 the project was sanctioned to rejuvenate the condition and also the importance of craft making to strengthen rural economy.
Previously in the Report on the State level workshop on promotion of Lac Based Livelihood (2010) importance of lac and its use to strengthen the livelihood was the main focus. Mr. Ranjan Kumar Kar represented an estimation of the investment, net return from the lac cultivation. This shows that if cultivation is done on kusum tree then for 100 host plants Rs/-32066.2 can be achieved (Rs/-3206.7 per tree). In palas it becomes Rs/- 118.2 and for Ber it becomes Rs/-287.1. According to him another starain Kerria Sarada thrives on A. Saman, locally known as Nidrabati or Khirisa can also used for this cultivation and can give three crops per annum (Kar.R.K,2010).
Mechanism for marketing of Minor Forest Produce through Minimum Support Price and development of Value Chain for MFP is a scheme to provide suitable price for the NRGs. The pricing cell of ICAR-IINRG analyzes the information provided by SPAs and helps to stabilize the price. The minimum support price is considered as most suitable for the farmers as they dont get the price according to their production cost. As the tribal groups are mainly engaged in the cultivation or practice of Rangeeni and Kusumi varity then minimum support piece will become very helpful for them. The recommended MSP of Rabgeeni and Kusumi lac was 210 and `290/ kg respectively and for 2015 crop recommended MSP of Rabgeeni and Kusumi lac was `230 and `320/kg respectively.
1.7.2 Jaukandehi a traditional lac art of Balasore:
Lac or lacquer decorated dolls or Jaukandehi is a significant craft develop in some pockets of Balasore. The fired clay made dolls are painted with various coloured lac threads and are known as Jaukandehi. This is considered as the reformed art and craft of Dhangra-Dhangri or male and female worshiped by the primitive tribes of Mayurbhanj. The culture has diffused to Balasore, also by the inhabitants closer to the culture of Mayurbhanj. The clay from Budhabalanga River and easy available lac host plants in Mayurbhanj and Balasore provide good scope for the development of the craft in Balasore. Then two communities i.e. Shankhari and Jaura introduced use of lac in their crafts. This craft is known as Baleswari Jaukandehi and also known as couple of lacquer art of Balasore. The children play with the dolls and celebrate the marriage of the dolls. This is considered a ceremony for celebration as it is believed that this will bring peace to the conjugal life. This is quite common in the villages like Patrapara, Tapsi, Ranasahi, Puruna Balasore. With time the tradition has moved out form the culture and at present
Table 1.5 Jaukandehi doll items their specification and market price
Jaukandehi pair (ordenary designed) 5 inch height RS/-100
Jaukandehi pair (fine designed) 5 inch height Rs/-130
Jaukandehi pair (fine designed) 10 inch height RS/-1000
Tribal dance (6 dolls) 5 inch height Rs/-350
Jagatpedi box Moderate size Rs/-1500-2000
only Jagatpedi is present. This is a box made of bamboo and designed with the lac colour. The word Jagatpedi means Universal box i.e. Jagat or Universe and Pedi or box. In the culture it still persists as the married women of Balasore offer designed lac dolls, bangles, to the Lord Laxmi-Narayan on the occasion of Maha Sabitri Brata(fast) wishing healthier long life of their husband, peace and happy conjugal life. Most common form of Jaukandehi varies in size. The cost also varies with the number of the dolls and their size.
Various steps have been taken to strengthen the lacquer art and craft of Balasore:-
The art organization named Baleswari Kala Kendra was established in 2004 founded by Shilpi Kesudas.
Some eminent personalities and organizations like District Industries Center or DIC, Directorate of Handicraft and Cottage Industries or DHCI, State Institute for Development of Art and Craft or SIDAC, Rural Development Foundation or RDF was united to catalyze the movement.
4 self helf groups or SHGS have been formed by the 59 female and male from 2005 to 2006. The SHGS have been formed in Barabati, Nalamganj, Arad Bazar at Balasore town and Kalipur village of Balasore Sadar block. Hand to hand training by the technical expert helped this group of people.
BKK was conducted skill development training on the lacquer craft for 10 women at Gudipada of Balasore Town and 10 women at Tartari village of Nilagiri block supported by the ITDA or Integrated Tribal Development Agency.
At present almost 79 women and 8 male artisans are involved in this craft.
The Maha Sabitri Brata is the main opportunity provider for the lac artisans. During the Hindu month Jyestha (May-June) this occasion is offered and the maximum demand of these dolls are common during this time. So the artisans earn their main income in this time. This is also a alternate and livelihood option for a group of lacquer artisans.
(Brief history of Lac, (
1.8 Bamboo artisans works:
Bamboo is a significant forest resource for Balasore as well as for the state. Many villagers depend on the Bamboo forest resource for making bamboo crafts and. In different blocks like Nilagiri, Jaleswar, Soro, Balasore Oupada, Bhograi bamboo craft or making of bamboo baskets, are a scattered but well known occupation. Sometime it is a part time engagement or some time it is a family occupation. All the family members are engaged in making bamboo baskets, locally known as jhuri, kula and ketia. After making the baskets they sell the products to the local markets and earn very limited amounts. Local forests are the source of the bamboo required and generally 50-70 rupees is required to buy one bamboo. From one bamboo, 15 standard baskets can be made. By regular supply of bamboo one bamboo craft worker can make 50 baskets in three days as stated by the craft workers of Barbaria village, Bhograi. Generally the baskets are sold at 10-20 rupees in local market on the basis of its size. If 15 baskets are sold at a rate of 10 or 12 rupees to the local market then total 150 Rs/- or 180 Rs/- can be earned. Excluding the 50 or 60 rupees of raw material cost, there is net profit of 100-130 Rs/- per day. When all the family members are involved then there is more profit generally. Number of villages like Haldipada depends on craft works. Another similar example is Barbaria village of Bhograi,
Fig 7.19: Flow chart showing bamboo craft works and production process
A significant step by AIACA or All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association (a society established in 2004) has strengthened the status of the marginalized 110 rural bamboo artisans. The key activities includes strengthen SHG.s, skill developments, product design and variability and business skill training with direct market access including branding and promotion. In Haldipada village of Balasore block such a project has been taken up from 2016 to strengthen the economic condition of the bamboo artisans as it is a poor and remote socially backward artisans village. The artisans used to make bamboo products for their daily household use and only limited sale. By upskilling, organizing the communities, innovative designs, modern and skill tool usage and direct market linkage improved the situation. By organizing the SHGs, technical skills helped the artisans to stabilize their economy. The bamboo products can be sold outside Balasore and the products can be sold at a cost of Rs 100-200 /-, even Rs500/- . This is becoming a significant step in developing an enterprise of Bamboo Artisan cluster in Balasore. Haldipada is becoming a brand for this product. Another most important social factor is the involvement of female workers. AIACA has provided artisan identity card to the workers of Haldipada bamboo works and ultimately the economic status has improved. (Haldipada Bamboo Artisans Project,
Different product designs and training by the AIACA helped to strengthen the product variety and branding of the product has increased the demand. At present 7 SHGs have been formed with bank account for each SHG to keep their work and economy smooth ( To provide more strength to the bamboo based works land parcels for bamboo plantation under OBDA or Odisha Bamboo Development Agency has been implemented. From 2008-09 to 2014-15, in Balasore district, 739 land parcels covering an area of 49 hectares has been used for bamboo plantation.
To provide facility bamboo bazaar under OBDA has been developed in
i) Chhamauj, of Balasore in 2011, with products like handicraft, raw agarbatti sticks or incense stick etc.
ii) Chowki of Bhograi, organization named SOWDESH was established in 2014 focusing on products like bamboo mats, handicraft, household items etc.
iii) Sashiprava handicraft was established in 2014 in Jamjhadi Simulia. (Bansal.A.K, INBAR Technical Report No.XX, 2016)
1.9 Sabai grass craft: Beside bamboo, sabai grass craft is also a significant craft work based on the available local sabai grass a natural fiber. Mayurbhanj district is the source of the sabai grass and the craft work is mainly concentrated in Baliapal village of Baliapal block. Locally this is termed as Bobei ghasa by the tribes. The rural women play a significant role in collection of the grass and drying it and also extracting or making rope from it. RAHAA, a NGO organization, trains the artisans and helps to keep the product in exhibitions, for sale. Mainly sabai grass, sabai rope and dead palm leaves are required as raw material. The artisans need a bamboo made frame and iron made frame and needle and thread locally to make the products like baskets, coasters, hats, boxes, chattai or mats etc. The cost of the product ranges from Rs50/- to Rs5000/- and the profit varies from 20 rupees onwards and they can earn Rs2000/- per month. There are 50 SHGs and 1000 artisan workers under them. The SHGs present in the block are- 12 SHG in Basta block, 5 SHG in Baliapal block, 10 SHG in Surudiha village, 5 SHGs in Karanja village, 5 SHGs in Pratulpur, 2 SHGs in the Bethgodia, and 1SHG in Vikagodia village(Sabai craft, ).
Conclusion: The uncertainty of agricultural production is found as a significant problem in strengthening the rural economy and it is quite common in Balasore also. A group of villagers believes that the non timber forest products and NRG products can improve the standard of living if they adopt the work as part time basis or continues the work side by side with agriculture. The availability of the forest products is basically seasonal but they ken help the villagers to earn a stable and secure income. Even the women can play a significant role in income generation. This helps to reduce the gender disparity and also helps to strengthen the society both economically and socially. The agriculture is obviously the main source of income and the main activity practiced by the maximum rural population for livelihood generation. But nature is full of resources with various prospects. So the other practices, other cultivation can also help them to strengthen their economic condition. The non timber forest products, natural rain and gums are such products that can secure huge return and profit, can strengthen and develop rural economy. Proper planning, development of SHGs, Cooperatives and joint forestry management can conserve the forest as well as can ensure sustainable use of forest product, that can lead to a developed rural economy and over all rural development.