Silkworm sanctuary in Golaghat
The Assam sericulture and forest departments and Central Silk Board are setting up the first in situ conservation site in Golaghat district to conserve muga silkworm in its natural habitat.
- Published 6.11.17
Guwahati: The Assam sericulture and forest departments and Central Silk Board are setting up the first in situ conservation site in Golaghat district to conserve muga silkworm in its natural habitat.
The forest department has given clearance for the Wild Muga Sanctuary at Upper Doigrung reserve forest in the district.
The sanctuary will comprise the core, buffer and peripheral zones. While silkworms will be conserved in the core zone, its breeding will be carried out in the peripheral zone.
"The Upper Doigrung reserve forest is suitable from all points of view. It is full of silkworm-bearing plants. The area has more than 6 square km dense forests. It is full of soalu, mejankuri, digloti, mulberry, castor, kesseru, payam, tapioca, gamari and hingori trees," scientist Monoj Kumar, who is associated with the project, said.
"The issue was discussed with the residents of Bankathar village, located near the conservation site, and the village has been adopted by the sericulture department. They said cocoons and pupae are naturally available in the forest. The village has 25 households and they traditionally rear eri silkworm. All the farmers have been brought under the sericulture department. As the villagers use no insecticides and pesticide, it is considered as an organic sericulture village," the director of sericulture, Mukta Nath Saikia, said.
"The conservation effort has been undertaken due to an increased threat to silkworms because of increase in human population, over-exploitation of forests, urbanisation, clearing of green cover for industrialisation, overgrazing in forest areas, monoculture and planting of exotic species and use of pesticides. Air pollution is gradually depleting muga silkworm population and the biodiversity of adjoining areas. Replacement of plants where muga silkworms grow by cash crops like tea and rubber has affected silk production," Saikia said.
Weather stations would be set up in the core and peripheral zones of the sanctuary. A census of muga silkworms will be also carried out in another 10 days. A memorandum of understanding would be signed between the sericulture and forest departments for 30 years of the project.