Socio-economic empowerment of rural women artisans working in the Eri silk value chain in Meghalaya

Objective

The aim of the project is to promote and assist the local Eri silk industry in Meghalaya through the production and export of high-quality hand-woven products. The project is intended to sustainably improve the incomes and living conditions of the indigenous population of Meghalaya.

Short description

Around 12.5% of the state’s rural population live below the poverty line and still depend mainly on agricultural activities such as rice growing, fish farming or the fruit and vegetable harvest. Crafts are another widespread source of income. As a result of climate change, there has been a steady reduction in rainfall in recent years, resulting in aridity and a constant rise in average temperatures in the region. This is making fish farming increasingly difficult, so that other sources of income must be sought. One option is silk production, because the area has natural resources that make intensification of silk production possible. In addition, there is a long tradition of eri silk production in the region, which because of the positive product characteristics is well suited to the manufacture of naturally and sustainably produced textiles. The project aims to provide training for farmers, spinners and weavers in order to improve the quality of the yarn and the fabric. An increased supply will permanently boost demand and thus enable sustained production of eri silk. The increased demand will make a positive contribution to preservation of the traditional craft. To achieve these objectives, biological silk breeding has to be intensified, more effective hand spinning wheels and handlooms will be introduced and techniques for dyeing with native plants will be improved.

The project forms part of the programme ‘Climate change adaption – North-eastern region of India’ (CCA-NER).

Achievements

In 2016, discussions were held with the Department for Sericulture and Weaving, producer groups, NGOs and other stakeholders. In August 2016, the first course on building the Flying-8 loom was held in Umden. In October 2016, the project featured in BMZ’s ‘Infomeile’ display at the Unity Festival in Dresden. In January/February 2017, the first weaving course was attended by 20 participants in Umden. The continuation course takes place in October 2017.

Since the start of 2016, Seidentraum has been selling the first products from Meghalaya (fabrics, yarns and traditional scarves).

Title:
Socio-economic empowerment of rural women artisans working in the Eri silk value chain in Meghalaya

Country / Region:
India / Meghalaya

Project running time:
2016 – 2019

Project partners:
Seidentraum, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusamenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Contact:
Seidentraum – Dr Matias Langer
email@seidentraum.eu
+49-341-3314052

Websites:
www.seidentraum.eu
www.meghalaya-silk.com
www.giz.de/en/worldwide/16041.html

Visiting spinners and weavers in Meghalaya
© Dr Matias Langer

Visiting spinners and weavers in Meghalaya
© Dr Matias Langer

As of: March 2018