NTFP – Lac

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Transforming Lives of Rural Tribal Women through Lac Value Chain

Lac is a high value natural secreted resin extracted from an insect (Laccifer lacca) which inhabits the twigs of specific host plants (Ber, Kusum, and Palash). Lac has many uses in paint, electrical, automobile, cosmetic, adhesive, leather, wood furnishing and other industries. Lac cultivation has been a traditional practice and significant source of income for about 4 to 6 million rural tribal households in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.

Lac production has fluctuated widely due to factors such as unfavorable climatic conditions, unscientific practices of cultivation, and pest damage. Also continued use of traditional techniques (such as harvesting of lac without intermediate crop operation/pest management) and lack of knowledge of new requirements (such as brood inoculation, rotation and careful handling of the stock) has resulted in brood shortage which is currently being imported from Thailand and Indonesia. Ironically, while lac prices have been increasing every year due to inadequate supplies, the full potential of lac cultivation is yet to be tapped.

Lac Business Model

Udyogini began its work in Jharkhand in 2008 to develop a replicable and scalable model for tribal women to sustainably earn through lac and grow through service provision and entrepreneurship. Over the years Udyogini has acquired considerable knowledge and experience of women centered lac value chain and designed a set of institutional and integrated business development services to address the critical issues hampering lac in collaboration with Indian Institute of Natural Resins and Gums (IINRG) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institute in Ranchi. A journey which was started with only 1000 women producers is now impacting more than 30000 women in 3 states, Jharkhand, M.P. and Chattisgarh and has increased the production of lac by around 40-60% from their initial production and fetching an average annual income of Rs. 40,000- 60,000/-

Key Features: (Annexure)

  1. Lac CRP Drive : Community Resource Person (CRP’s) are trained service providers who build knowledge, attitude and skills of lac producers and internal resource persons at grassroots level.
  2. Udyogini is providing technical support to JSLPS ( Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society) to engage10000 lac producers in three districts of Jharkhand through CRP drive. Till now over 4000 producers have been trained on scientific cultivation of lac by 80 CRP’s
  3. Udyogini recently completed pro poor gender sensitive value chain studies for Lac for the World Bank BEES network.

Current Stakeholder Outreach

Direct Implementation

Year Districts No. of producers  (Cumulative) Annual Production (IN KG) Revenue (per producer in Rs)
2008 1 1000 3000 550
2010 1 3500 28000 7500-8000
2012 2 5500 86000 12000-14000
2014 5 22300 200000 30000-35000
2016 5 28700 334000 40000-60000

Social Impact

Over the years Lac farming has emerged/evolved as a stabilized and prolonged profitable crop for forest population.

The proceeds of the scientific lac cultivation have greatly improved the social and economic status of women producers as compare to the old times. In a recent study conducted by Udyogini with 200 women in Ranchi District indicates that women’s income has increased because of lac cultivation, on average, for every Rs 100 of income in the control group, Rs 173 was made by the treatment group. And it is very encouraging to know that mostly the sampled women spent their Lac income on their children’s education.

The report also shows that 80% of women have had an increase in self-respect due to Lac cultivation. In the same sample of women, of the 30% of women who experienced violence in their home, 50% saw decrease in domestic violence because of Udyogini’s involvement.

Cost Benefit Analysis

Cost benefit analysis of Lac cultivation

a. Kusumi lac to ber trees ( 5 ber trees)

Fixed cost (In Rs) 870
Recurring cost 6838
Labour cost 450
Total Input cost 8158
Income (Output)
Brood lac yield 39000
Phunki 9000
Fuel wood 500
Total income 48500

You may also support Lac Value Chain – Options –

Option 1

  1. Support the input cost of a lac producer for a whole year (Rs. 2500 / per cycle brood cost*2cycles per year).
  2. Sponsor skill training (Package of Scientific Cultivation of Lac) of 10 women producers (or multiplies of 10,20,30 producers)
  3. Support skill training and livelihood activity for 2 women for one year.
  4. Sponsor the training of rural women to become Lac entrepreneurs and improve their livelihoods.

Option 2

  1. Donate 5000 to support the input cost of one lac producer for a whole year (Rs. 2500 / per cycle brood cost*2/ year).
  2. Donate Rs.5000 to sponsor a Lah Vahini (Service provider) / CRP (Cluster Resource Person) to train 50 producers to adopt scientific cultivation of lac. (or multiplies of 10,20,30 Service Providers)
  3. Donate Rs. 10000 and support entrepreneurship development training of tribal women.

(Your contribution will not only help them to increase their income but will also support them in accessing better health and education services for their children)

Our Supporters

Supporters No of beneficiaries
Misereor 14500 Producers
NRTT 16000 (Ongoing)
PACS 8000 Producers
NABARD
Ford Foundation
NRLM/MKSP 14000 producers
JSLPS 10000 producers (Ongoing)
ICCO 2500 producers
Intel Foundation 3500 producers

Future Perspective

By 2017, Udyogini aims to reach –

  1. 100000 new producers in 12 Districts of 5 states
  2. 1000 Business development service providers
  3. 200 New Lac VLSC’s (Village Level Service Centers)
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Case Study – NFTP – LAC

Parmeshwari Devi, a middle aged woman, a resident of Badkolma village in Bundu block of Ranchi district, and a mother of two children is a successful woman entrepreneur

Read more