This video, shot during the UNDP’s “One Day on Earth” project, features the great socioeconomic and environmental improvements resulting from lac farming in Khunti, Jharkhand India.
Lac is a species of parasitic insect that attach themselves to host trees, generating a resin of high economic value. The trees that lac insects typically attach themselves to are slow growing and difficult to farm. However, in partnership with the UNDP, a new and fast-growing species of tree called the Flemingia semialata Roxb has been discovered. The UNDP has set up a seed bank for this kind of tree and taught local farmers how to raise the crop in plantations and harvest the resin. The program has been very successful and is spreading throughout the region. It has helped to provide a stable income for both male and female farmers and it has helped to restore the local environment by promoting biodiversity and the stabilization of endangered forest regions.
India and Thailand are currently the world’s foremost lac exporters, while the United States and Japan are its primary importers. Lac resin is in high demand for its widespread use in electronics, cosmetics, clothing and food production.