Centre trying to implement Rs 900 cr sericulture projects in NE

ITANAGAR, Feb 22: The Centre is trying to implement Rs 900 crore sericulture projects in the Northeast to empower farmers and weavers, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said on Friday.
Launching the integrated large-scale Eri farming in Arunachal Pradesh under the North East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS) at the state assembly here, Irani said the government has decided to provide financial assistance to 4000 beneficiaries under the scheme in the state.
Irani also assured to impart skill training to seri farmers and weavers under the Samarth Scheme, which was launched for capacity building in the textile sector.
There are 27000 looms and 33000 handloom weavers in Arunachal Pradesh.
Initially, the project would cover five districts of the state – Papum Pare, East Kameng, Siang, East Siang and West Siang.
The union minister said Eri silk farming would be held in about 1000 acres in the chosen districts.
“If any registered weaver wants to upgrade their old looms, the government would give 90 percent financial assistance in buying a new one,” she added.
“If the children of poor weaver families want to pursue higher studies either through the National Institute of Open Schooling or the Indira Gandhi National Open University, the government will bear 75 percent of their fees,” she said.
Union MoS for Home Kiren Rijiju said the traditional weaving culture in the state provides vast opportunity for the textile sector and the NERTPS is a scheme for women empowerment and employment generation.
Later, Irani visited the Raj Bhavan here and reviewed a set of loin looms set up on the front lawns of the Raj Bhavan.
The governor and his wife Neelam Misra, who have been making concerted efforts to promote the indigenous loin looms of Arunachal, arranged the looms’ operation for review by the union minister.
They apprised the minister of the challenges faced by Arunachalee women engaged in the traditional work.
Interacting with the weavers, Irani suggested registering and branding the loin loom products of every tribe of the state, saying doing so would facilitate taking the products to international markets.
Misra urged Irani to start cotton and silk banks in Arunachal Pradesh.
“To preserve the age-old loin loom tradition in its pristine form, the local weavers must have the facility at hand to collect their thread requirement,” the governor’s wife said.
She presented a copy of the documentary conceptualized by her, depicting her loin loom learning and weaving, titled Bunai Ke Rangin Duniya.
Union MoS for Home Kiren Rijiju and state Textiles & Handicrafts Minister Tamiyo Taga were also present. (PTI and Raj Bhavan)