SHILLONG, Sept 3: Chief Minister Mukul Sangma undertook a visit to Kilkra plantation at Chibra-Agal, Rongram near Tura and interacted with the officials of the Agriculture department at Rongram Horti Hub on Saturday.
During interaction with the officials, the Chief Minister sought to know the problems and challenges faced by the officials while undertaking Kilkra plantation in the area. So far, there is only an Indian made Kilkra processing machine is available in the district, so the department officials suggested the need to procure Chinese made machine which can generate higher quantity of fibre out of the plant.
The Chief Minister asked the district officials to identify entrepreneurs who can procure and run the machine in convergence with IBDLP. It is also felt that there is a need for creating more awareness to the farmers to take up Kilkra cultivation as there is ready market. It may be mentioned that Kilkra fibre is being imported from Chi for textile industries in India.
Sangma also inspected the tea plantation adjacent to the Rongram Horti Hub and urged the officials to plant black peppers in between the tea plantations so as to use the existing trees more profitably. He particularly stressed on planting the Panniyur variety of black pepper, which is said to be the highest yielding variety and can bring a turround in the State’s economy. He also urged the department officials to take up terrace plantation in the areas that are lying unused within the tea plantation premises which would also help to improve its aesthetic view.
It may be mentioned that Kilkra plantation was launched in the State last year as part of the Government’s Green Economy concept to promote sustaible livelihood to the local farmers as well as to address the environmental concerns.
Kilkra (Boehmeria Nivea) is a fibre plant indigenous to Garo Hills, more commonly known as the Chinese Nettle and is said to be one of the strongest tural fibres. Kilkra fibre has been used for over 5000 years in Chi, India and Indonesia and is older than cotton. Its fabric is more absorbent than cotton and breathes well and thus makes for comfortable clothing for warm and humid climate.