Kadamba has been awarded for promoting lac cultivation in
Karnataka & Goa.
Kadamba has introduced the lac cultivation for the first time in Karnataka.
Lac is a natural resin secreted from lac insects. These insects live in certain host trees and commercial cultivation of lac is made possible by infesting the insects to host trees. India was largest exporter of Lac up to 19 century and production decreased due to the synthetic lac. Now the world is again bent towards natural resins and the Lac cultivation has returned with a bang. In Karnataka Kadamba Foundation was the pioneer institution which was instrumental in re-introducing and promoting the Lac cultivation. The visions of Sri Anant Kumar Hegde which is perpetually pro-farmer and for organic farming made this incredible feat possible.
Little bit of History:The word lac is derived from the Sanskrit word lākshā' (लाक्षा), which represents the number 100,000. Due to the enormous number of insects, the resin produced by these insects was also called as Laksha(Lac) and the insects also carried the name lac. The Hindu culture was familiar with the use of this natural resin There are referece of Lac in Atharva Veda. The Atharva Veda has sooktha titled ‘Laaksha’ reffering the Lac insect and also carries a praising prose for the personified fully grown female Lac insect! The Vedic Rishis knew that the resin is from the insect and also knew about the medicinal value of this unique resin, the only natural resin derived from an insect. They had also identified the Ideal host tree for these insects and it was Palsah Tree(Butea monosperma syn.Frondosa).
Most famous is the reference in Epic MahaBharatha when Kauravas built a palace out of Lac (Laaksha Gruha) by an architect named ‘Purochak’ for the destruction of Pandavas. In modern history the scientific study of Lac resin and the Lac insects was first done in 1709 by Father Tachard, a Christian missionary of the society of Jesuits. He studied its occurrence, preparation and also little bit physio-chemical properties. Then James Kerr, a medical officer in the India Company’s Service,undertook a scientific study and published the paper entitled ‘Natural history of the insect which produces the gum lacca” in 1781. Then William Roxburg, who is called as the ‘Father of Indian Botany’ studied Lac insects in 1790. The nest year Anderson wrote about the subject. Later numerous botanists did scientifically study the Lac insect, its life cycle, production of resin etc. Whole world was dependent on India for this amazing natural resin till the synthetic resins took over. Now the whole story has come a full circle and India is once again in forefront in global Lac market.