Reviving Sericulture

Sericulture, an agriculture-based industry, plays a very important role in the development of the rural economy. It occupies a place of pride in the rural economy by being only a cash crop that guarantees attractive returns in a short period of time. However, recently it witnessed marginal deficit and main reasons for the shortfall has been attributed officially to urbanisation and weather factors.

Nevertheless, it has high employment potential, better returns and regular income at fixed intervals. Besides, women friendly and eco-friendly nature of occupation continues to be among the salient features of sericulture, a broader term used for the process of cultivating silkworms and extracting silk from them. Further, the domestic consumption and export of silk and silk goods also contributes to the economy.

Jammu and Kashmir is known for high-quality bivoltine silk and as per the government; it has the potential to become a major silk producing hub in this part of the globe. The industry has faced challenges in recent years and there was a need for its development and modernization in order to meet the growing demand for superior silk which can match and replace not only the silk being imported to the country but also compete in its export requirements abroad.

According to the experts, the major challenge facing the sericulture industry in J&K is the lack of access to modern technology. Many farmers still use traditional methods of silk production, which are time-consuming and labor-intensive as well as sub-par in terms of quality of output.

In this backdrop, the J&K government approved an ambitious project worth Rs 91 crore, envisaging revival and revitalization of the silk industry in J&K through technological interventions.

The project, as per the government, contains end-to-end interventions, right from availability of mulberry leaves to better seed and worm production and finally augmentation of reeling facilities.

Technological interventions to strengthen Sericulture in J&K is one among the 29 projects, which were approved by the Jammu and Kashmir administration after being recommended by the UT Level Apex Committee for holistic development of Agriculture and Allied Sectors in J&K.

The intervention by the government is aimed at increasing production and quality of silk. It in turn will surely improve the livelihoods of the farmers involved. Various interventions envisaged by the government appear to be cogent and one hopes that they will help in reclaiming the past glory of J&K.


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