NTFP Value Chain- Lac

Inclusion and Economic Empowerment of Tribal Women in Lac value Chain Markets

Lac is a Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) with 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 Business Model

Udyogini began its work in Jharkhand in 2008 to develop a replicable and scalable model for tribal women to have sustainable earning through scientific lac cultivation and entrepreneurship. Over the years, Udyogini has acquired considerable knowledge and experience of women centred 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 1,000 women producers is now impacting more than 30,000 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 per household.

Key Features: 

  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 Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS) to engage 10,000 lac producers in three districts of Jharkhand through CRP drive. Till now over 4,000 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 1,000 3,000 550
2010 1 3,500 28,000 7,500-8,000
2012 2 5,500 86,000 12,000-14,000
2014 5 22,300 2,00,000 30,000-35,000
2016 5 28,700 3,34,000 40,000-60,000

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 compared 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% women who experienced violence in their homes, 50% saw decrease in domestic violence because of Udyogini’s involvement.

Cost Benefit Analysis

Cost benefit analysis of Lac cultivation

Kusumi lac to ber trees ( 5 ber trees)

Fixed cost (In Rs) 870
Recurring cost 6,838
Labour cost 450
Total Input cost 8,158
Income (Output)
Brood lac yield 39,000
Phunki 9,000
Fuel wood 500
Total income 48,500

Our Supporters

Supporters No of beneficiaries
Misereor 14,500
NRTT 16,000
PACS 8,000
NRLM/MKSP 14,000
JSLPS 10,000
ICCO 2,500
Intel Foundation 3,500

Future Perspective

By 2020, Udyogini aims to:

  1. Establish centralized processing unit of Lac for JHK, CG & MP
  2. Establish collective marketing of Lac through cooperatives
  3. Integrate Lac with other NTFPs like custard apple, cashew nuts, tamarind etc
  4. Convergence with government schemes for Lac host trees plantation

Case Study – NFTP – LAC

Lalita Devi, who has stepped up as an empowered woman, is leading a successful retail shop along lac production in Gumla district, Jharkhand

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