Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Lac Cultivation can become good source of income for farmers

The lac that grows on the safflower tree is of good quality


Lac cultivation | Two types of lac are found in our country – Kusumi lac and Coloured lac. The lac obtained from the safflower tree is called Kusumi lac, and the lac produced from Ber or Palash tree is called coloured lac. The lac produced from the safflower tree is of good quality and fetches a good price in the market. That’s why experts advise farmers to cultivate lac on safflower trees only. Lac is produced in our country, mainly in Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and West Bengal. Jharkhand has the highest production of lac.

Lac Cultivation
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What is Lac?

Lac is a natural resin produced from an insect called Carina lac. Lac insects are reared on Palash, safflower, and ber trees. These insects get their food by sucking the sap of the tender branches of the tree. Insects make armor by secreting resin for their protection. Lakhs are made from this only. It sticks to the branches of the tree and is scraped off after cutting the branch.

Lac is received twice a year. Kusum lac insects are offered in the first week of July in the safflower tree, and the production is taken in December. The production of lac is taken in the month of Aghan hence it is also called Aghani lac. In the month of January also, lac insects are offered to the safflower tree, and production is obtained from this in June.

Uses of lac

Lac is very useful. It is mainly used in making cosmetics, seals, shellac, electrical insulators, varnishes, coatings on fruits and medicines, polishes, and decorative items. That is, it is used in many things so that farmers can get a good price for it.

Lac Cultivation
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How much production on safflower tree?

About 50 to 100 kg of lac can be obtained from the safflower tree. Pruning of the tree is necessary for good production because it is necessary to have soft and healthy branches for lac. Actually, lac grows well only on soft twigs, because they grow by sucking it. The lac produced from the safflower tree is sold in the market for Rs 250-275 per kg. In this way, if we assume that 70 to 80 kg of lac is produced per tree, then the farmer can earn Rs. 20,000 from one tree only. If lac is produced on ten trees, one can easily earn Rs 2 to 2.5 lacs in just a span of 6 months. That means it is a profitable deal for the farmers.

Lac can be produced on ber and palash trees, but the production is less as compared to safflower and the price is also less than safflower lac. Lac cultivation is beneficial for farmers, especially tribal farmers and farmers who do not have much cultivable land.

Also Read: Rs 5 lakh annual income with management of vegetable cultivation

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