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Government Of Assam Panchayat & Rural Development Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission (ASRLM)

Water Hyacinth

Water Hyacinth Craft: Promoting Rural Livelihoods

Water hyacinth (Scientific name: Eichornia crassipes; Local name: Meteka) is considered as the most productive plant on earth, as it yields more than 200 tons of dry matter per hectare per year under normal conditions. On water containing high concentrations of sewage, it yields up to 657 tons of dry matter per hectare. In Assam, water hyacinth is seen in abundance in almost every river body of the state, right from big lakes to household ponds in villages. For a long time, the aquatic plant was considered only as a waste and was either cleared up or left unused.

The plant is far more productive than the crops that have been carefully cultivated by man under near-ideal conditions of fertilization, irrigation, and pest control,” wrote John Bunton in an article which appeared in Far Eastern Agriculture. 

Basically, Water hyacinth is considered as a weed & nuisance for:

  • It enhances water loss by 2.5 to 3 times due to evaporation.
  • Reduction of Bio-diversity: Other aquatic plants have difficulty in surviving.
  • Diversity of fish stocks is often affected from proliferation of water hyacinth.
  • Sediment level increases with increase of water hyacinth.
  • Source of breeding ground for mosquitoes and other parasites.
  • Hindrance to water transport.

Need for Water Hyacinth Craft

  • Its removal helps to conserve water and rejuvenate the environment
  • Sustainable livelihood & Inclusive Growth in Rural Areas
  • Raw Material is free and abundant
  • Opportunity to earn as per the skill level of the artisan: - -Unskilled:- 15 paisa per piece of dry steam -Semi Skilled :- Braid & Rope : Rs. 2 to 3.5 per meter -Skilled: Finished Products with value from Rs. 40 in a coin purse to Rs. 30,000/- in furniture set.
  • An ecofriendly product for the consumers
  • Empowering women in rural India

Objective of the project

To introduce water hyacinth craft as a source of sustainable livelihood in rural areas primarily targeting the women beneficiaries for their economic empowerment. The project will focus on six blocks under six districts which are listed as follows:

 Name of the District

 Name of the Block

 No of SHG members  to be covered ( Approx)





850 SHG  members


 Pub Mangaldai









Capacity Building

Formal and Structured training on making products of water hyacinth is a necessity  in promoting  Water  Hyacinth Craft  into  a Sustainable  Livelihood  option .  In order to enhance their skills and productivity technical  training and  Capacity Building Programmes  have been designed specific to the requirement of the artisans on water hyacinth craft:

 Sl  No

 Type of Training

 No of Artisans to be covered


Skill Development Programme at village level



Advanced Training at NEDFi R&D Centre, Khetri



Product Specific Reorientation Programme at village level


Promoting Water Hyacinth Craft as a Sustainable Livelihood and Establishment of Market Linkages

A systematic approach to promote Water Hyacinth Craft as a sustainable Livelihood option, marketing linkage has to be established and tracking of the growing needs of customers is also to be kept in account.   Thus, the following initiatives are to be undertaken in realizing the goals of establishing a sustainable Market  Linkage. 

  • Establishment of six Common Facility Centre in all the six targeted districts and make it sustainable in long run.
  • Issue of Artisan Card to the project beneficiaries
  • Preparation of Catalogue, Website & Documentation for product marketing
  • Organizing 18 nos. of local, regional, national level exhibitions to promote Water Hyacinth Craft in Assam.
  • Tie up with buyers & exporters for some selective products with large volume for which product specific training programmes will be undertaken under the capacity building component of the project. Tie up with vendors/ shops of nearby areas / locality
  • Linkage with marketing organizations like NEHHDC, ARTFED as well as NEDFi showrooms and online marketing agencies.

Operational Time Line for Water Hyacinth Project

Project Period: 18.08.2017 to 17.08.2019 (Two years)

Sl No Activity Months
1 Conducting Basic Training Programme for beneficiaries (24 programes, 25 beneficiaries per batch, duration of each training programme 10 days per batch). Sept-17 to Dec-17
2 Issue of Artisan Card to the project beneficiaries Sept-17 to Dec-17
3 Selection of place and beneficiary for establishment of Common Facility Center (CFC) Nov-17
4 Procurement process of Tools & Equipments for CFC
Accessories etc
Dec-17 to Jan-18
5 Functioning of CFC -6 nos. (1 each at selected intensive district) Jan-18
6 Mobilisation of CFC Assistants Feb-18 to Aug-19
7 Selection and Mobilisation of Marketing Executive & Mentor Dec-17 toAug-19
8 Selection and Mobilisation of Mentors Dec-17 toAug-19
9 Conducting Advanced Training Programme (2 porgrammes, 30 beneficiaries per batch, duration of each training programme 12 days per batch) March-18 to April-18
10 Conducting Product Specific Orientation Programme (6 programmes, 25 beneficiaries per batch, duration of each programme 6 days per batch) May-18 to Aug-18
11 18 nos. of Local, Regional, National Level Exhibitions: 6CFC @ 3 exhibition per CFC Dec-17 to Aug-19

Marketing Linkage Initiatives:

1) Tie up with buyers & exporters for some selective products with large volume;

2) Linkage with marketing organizations;

3) Online Marketing
Dec-17 to Aug-19
13 Preparation of Catalogue, Website launch & Documentation Dec-17 to March-18