Says Dr BK Dwiwedi of Bioved Research Institute of Agriculture And Technology, Prayagraj, who has given a new dimension to lac products. Lac is mostly used for sealing material, varnishing and making bangles etc. But under his guidance, more than 450 items are fashioned using lac along with biodegradable and waste material. This lacquerware is sold not only in Uttar Pradesh but throughout the country…
Q: How did you get the idea to make lac items?
We promoted lac cultivation in Uttar Pradesh and made an arrangement to buy back produced lac from the growers who started cultivation under our technical supervision. After processing, we wanted to sell the lac in the market but came to know a few startling facts. Earlier, 80% of the lac produced in India was exported to more than 100 countries of the world. But later, the export stopped due to the economic crisis in the developing countries. Therefore, the cost of produced lac fetched very low prices. Growers could not even get their input cost from the sale of lac. Then the Bioved Research Institute of Agriculture And Technology, Prayagraj decided to produce lac for the preparation of different value-added products for domestic consumption. Value-added products from 1 kg lac fetched at least Rs.500 to 800. In this way, financial security was ensured. The grower would get the price of their produced lac at not less than Rs 600 per kg.
Q: Did you face any difficulties in your venture? How did you overcome them?
We have faced many difficulties in this venture because only a few products, like bangles and sealing material, were being produced for domestic consumption. But we have prepared 450 products with joint use of lac, bio-resources and agri-waste materials available in each and every place of a village free of cost. In this way, lac craft artisans are being involved in different places at a very minimum input cost.
Q: What items do you make and how is your work different from others?
We have prepared more than 450 value-added products from lac with bioresources, and agri-waste material available free of cost in each and every village, like. soil, cow dung, cow urine, horn, bone, and bagasse of sugarcane-based items. We make jewellery boxes, ring ceremony boxes, gift items, mementoes, pen stands, waste paper-based jewellery, rakhi, glass, tea trays and other gift items. These products are being prepared by the Bioved Research Institute of Agriculture And Technology, Prayagraj and sold not only in UP but also in India. They are eco-friendly and biodegradable products, so. Most people prefer them in India and abroad.
Q: Does it provide sustainable income to you and your employees? Generates employment?
This programme gives sustainable income and generates employment at a very minimum input cost to us and all involved beneficiaries, after adopting this technology, can sustain themselves.
Q: How do you see growth prospects in future? Any plan to sell online?
This programme is very helpful in solving an existing and arising problem for the future i.e., climate change. It can also address issues like agri-waste management, ecological imbalance, etc. At present, we are receiving many bulk supply orders not only in India but also from abroad but at the present time, nobody is ready to give advance payment. Most of the customers are those who buy on the basis of fixed-time delivery. Let us see what the future brings.