Sericulture, one of the cottage-based and agro-based industries is considered a significant industry especially in a sustainable state like Meghalaya. It plays an eminent role in providing employment opportunities to the local people, thereby making it a rural driven industry. Since, Meghalaya has a suitable climatic condition to help in the processing of sericulture; this industry is growing and developing itself. The state consists of different silkworm cultures like Mulberry, Eri Muga and Oak Tasar that can be easily harvested. Therefore, there are many projects and schemes that are emerging in order to help the industry grow and flourish.
Apart from the Government initiatives, there are various private sectors as well that are making their way into the Sericulture industry of Meghalaya. One of the productions in the state is the Meghalaya Fabrics; Sai-Lum located in Bhoirymbong, Ri-bhoi district. This first micro cottage industry was established in 2017 by Wallambok Pyngrope.
The Sericulture industry in Meghalaya has also adopted new and advanced technologies to produce more quality products.
The unit of Sai-Lum has transformed the production of Eri Yarn production in Meghalaya by developing a first of its kind Micro cottage yarn production unit in the state based on assembling cotton based machineries such as the Amber Charkha and a set of custom made preparatory machines.
Since the Sericulture industry is divided into 3 Sectors viz Cocoon, Yarn and Fabric Sector. Out of the three, the cocoon sector or the rearers that conduct Silkworm rearing and the Fabric Sector or the Weavers are seen to be very strong in the state. On the other hand, the production of yarn sector in the state is quite poor as the weavers have to procure the yarns at a triple price from the other states that purchase the cocoons and resells them in the form of processed yarns. In order to combat this situation, Sai-Lum established a unit that produces 10-15 Kgs of yarn per week in comparison to 1-1.5 kg per month by conventional methods such as CSTRI motorized Spinning Machine or by using the traditionally hand spinning method.
“The unit was able to produce a 13-14/1NM coarse yarn and supplied to Ri-Bhoi’s local weavers, Garo Hills, West Khasi Hills, Jowai, Assam, Kolkata and even internationally.” W. Pyngrope said.
This particular effort however got recognition and Wallambok Pyngrope won the Best Achievers Award in Sericulture 2019’ from the Central Silk Board; Ministry of Textiles followed by ‘Chief Minister’s E-Champion 2019’ Government of Meghalaya.
With much demand in the supply of yarns and fabrics, Sai-Lum Meghalaya Fabric supplies high quality and affordable yarn to the local weavers as well as to the national and international markets. This has, however paved a way for other Seri culturists to produce quality products. Also, it has made the Sericulture industry in Meghalaya to promote socio-economic upliftment of the weavers and enhance the productivity of their products.