Manipur sericulturist creates a story of hope
(6 months ago)
Imphal, (Manipur) , Nov 17 : Faith and hard work can move mountains, this adage holds true for Wahengbam Ibotombi Singh, an agripreneur from Manipur.
Singh has his own silk business with a turnover of Rs 50 lakhs per annum.
Following the footsteps of his father, who was a silk farmer, Wahengbam chose to keep the legacy of silk farming alive.
"It has been a very long journey for me in sericulture. My father was dedicated in silk production. In fact he was the first person who introduced 'Oak Tasar' in the state of Manipur. And as he wished I continued in his footsteps," Singh said.
His father used to have one farm at Borbung, which is 25 km from Imphal, and that is the place where the first rearing of Oak Tasar was conducted. Only seven cocoons were harvested that time.
In 1995, he completed his post graduation in sericulture from Central Sericulture Research and Training Institute in Mysore. Later he started getting involved in mulberry farming in his village, which proved to be a turning point for him.
Singh apart from rearing several varieties of silk, developed his business skills and it was in 2003 that he enrolled as a trainee with the Institute of Cooperative Management, Imphal.
The training taught him the necessary business skills and he went on to start his own Sericulture Potlam.
A self-made entrepreneur, Singh is helping to generate employment opportunities for people in the far flung villages of Manipur and native sericulture farmers, reelers and weavers are getting benefited.
"We enjoy it here and weave clothes. Several clothes are weaved like, phanek, shirt clothes, scarfs and many other including sarees, we charge more for weaving sarees and shirting clothes adding more designs which brings us more money.We earn sufficient amount of money to manage our family, and we usually work in our free time," said a weaver from Sericulture Potlam.
Singh's firm now employs over 300 persons.
Sericulture Potlam covers 15 villages in Manipur, where 100 silkworm rearers are directly or indirectly working and earning an average of Rs. 20.000 annually as a part time activity.
Singh's work for wetland protection, appreciated by the World Bank, deserves a special mention. It has also won Singh an award in the project named 'India Development Market Place'.