Assam being the cardinal state among the North Eastern States of India is the gateway of NE India and it has a tradition of Sericulture and weaving. The Sericulture, a low capital labour intensive cottage industry in Assam, is playing a vital role in uplifting the rural economy of the state. The Muga Silk Industry of Assam has been in existence since time immemorial. The Ahom Kings had encouraged and patronized the Muga Silk Industry in Assam. This semi-domesticated Muga, Anthereaassama is reared only in this part of the country due to its unique characteristics. The people of this region are acquainted with the art of producing the silk. The Golden Muga silk fabric is considered as the queen of all fabrics due to its durability and elegant lustrous natural colour. The clothes and the garments made of Muga silk are traditional in nature with unique designs of social and cultural value. The demand for Muga silk is exclusive to Assam, which is growing day by day and is also gaining popularity as high-end fashion fabric both in India and abroad. This increasing demand of Eri and Muga globally has given the industry a unique identity. It can reshape the rural economy of Assam and can make the region a big earner of foreign exchange. 

It is to be mentioned that the culture of export of Muga silk fabric to the European countries was initiated by the East India Company during the middle of the 19th and 20th Centuries. The products were also exported to other states of the country. The British Government also took various measures to enhance the productivity. Since then, the demand for Golden Muga Silk fabrics has increased manifolds. 

At present, the business of Muga, the Golden Silk, is gaining importance. But, an organised market for the business has still not been developed and therefore, the traders have failed to exploit the market potential. It is hoped that with proper organization, the industry can grow up to its expected size and export earning of India from silk items can be raised to a maximum. A standardized effective mechanism for the trading and quality management of silk fabric is the demand of time.

We have to minimize the problems generally faced by the farmers to target the international market of the Golden fabric. In spite of the prevailing conducive environment, skilled manpower, good food plants, high demand, and rich tradition; the Assam Silk Industry has been facing difficulties to survive and the production of Golden Silk is not increasing as expected resulting in a gap between the supply and demand. The government has been implementing a number of schemes for production of high quality yarn by adopting schemes for production of good quality food for the Eri and Muga worms. We need people and industry oriented approaches to make the Sericulture industry more profitable. 

Assam is blessed with the Muga Silk, which is unique to the place and it is considered to be a potential for Assam Tourism. Tourism is a fast growing global industry and has been generating the highest employment opportunities. These potentialities of tourism have to be exploited commercially to establish the tourism market at international level. The Central Government has been exploring the prospect of foreign investment in Assam’s Sericulture and Silk Industry. 

Likewise, Eri Fed, a Boko-based Federation of 22 NGOs has tied up with a Canadian Firm, which has assured to procure goods made under the brand. Further, the ministry has setup Eri outlets at Boko and Kaziranga, where these goods can gain maximum exposure from the visiting Foreign tourists. The third one of this kind is proposed to be setup in Guwahati soon. The Federation has set an aim to create a viable export market for Eri and Muga in near future. Besides, it has selected Mouthal, a village along the Assam-Meghalaya border, for setting up an Eri Park on a 54 bigha plot. Therefore, the foremost question is the maintenance of the quality of the products to attract the clients in overseas market. In Assam, the Government and the other establishments have taken up numerous strategies and initiatives to advertise tourism, the fastest growing market in Assam. The recent Tourism Policy of Assam Government in this regards will definitely play a vital role in popularizing the Golden silk and marking too at International Market. 

Further, the Directorate of Sericulture and Central Silk Board has recently got the necessary approval to set up a ‘in situ wild’ muga sanctuary at Golaghat, Assam. A core area of 100 acres has been identified for the purpose. This unique project, the World’s first in situ wildmuga sanctuary aims at future conservation of the threatened wild silk moths and Muga. It is also thought of to be a further step towards facilitating research in sericulture.

The award of Geographical Indication (GI) by the GI Registry in Chennai to Assam’s Muga Silk will bring in standardization of processes involved in Muga culture, which in turn would help commercialization and export of the product. There is a bright prospect of Muga Silk Industry of Assam as the demand for natural fibre has grown considerably in the global market. The durability and elegant lustrous natural colour is the hidden strength of Golden silk fibre.
Editorial note prepared by: Dr Devabrot Khanikor
Principal, Sonapur College, Kamrup (Metro), Assam


This issue consists of 5 reseach articles, 2 essays on emerging issues, 1 book review, 1 short story and 5 poems. Research articles are contributed by Ms Banasree Phukan, Ms Dipshikha Chamuah, Mr Khammoun Phukan and Dr Arup Kumar Nath, Mr Dhurum Sula Boro and Mr Mintu Kumar. We are thankful to all research scholars for giving us opportunity to publish their invaluable research works in this issue.

We are also thankful to the development practioner and author, Mr Dhiren Ch Doley sir and Ms Atlantica Boruah for contributing their valuable write-ups in the section of Essays on Emerging Issues.

A book of collection of short stories, ‘Manabwatwa’, written by Mr Naren Nritam Das, is reviwed by Ms Pranami Bania. A short story, worth to read, originally written in Assamese, by Mr Sankab Kausik Barua is published translated by author-translator, Member of Advisory Board, respected Mr Bibekananda Choudhury sir.

Five beautiful poems are contributed by respected Dr Anil Kumar Boro sir, respected Mr Dennis Law from USA, Mr Ajoy Engti, Mr Kumaresh Das and Ms Shruti Mishra.

We express our thankfulness to all above contributors for their unconditional support and cooperation in making our effort successful this time also.

We acknowledge with thanks to the honorary advisory board, honorary technical review board and all members of editorial team for their guidance, support and cooperation.

We, of course, express our sincere gratitude to respected Dr Devabrot Khanikar sir, Principal, Sonapur College, Kamrup (Metro), Assam for addressing in this issue from the Editors’ Desk. We hope that his write-up, ‘Economic Prospects of Muga’, will certainly unlock the hidden strength and also provide more information of prospering of the Golden silk of Assam. Happy reading!
Vol-4, Issue-6; November-December 2017


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