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J&K to outlay Rs 91 cr to improve silk industry through tech interventions

Silk industry to become a major contributor to UT’s economy: Dulloo

Post by Syeda Rafiyah on Saturday, January 14, 2023

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Srinagar, Jan 13: Financial Commissioner Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo on Friday said the government has approved a project with an outlay of Rs 91 crores to improve production and productivity of silk in J&K through technological interventions.
Silk production has a long history as J&K is known for its high-quality bivoltine silk and has potential to become a major silk-producing area in the country.
“The industry has faced challenges in recent years. There is a need for development and modernization to meet the growing demand for superior silk which can match and replace not only the silk being imported into the country but also compete in its export requirements,” he said.
Dulloo said the project which contains end-to-end interventions, right from availability of mulberry leaves, to better seed and worm production and finally augmentation of reeling facilities, shall double the number of cocoons produced in J&K and boost value addition by establishment of a state-of-the-art automatic reeling facility at Jammu.
“Sericulture is the only cash crop that ensures significant returns in a short amount of time, earning it a special place in the rural economy. Although the JK produces high-quality bivoltine cocoons, productivity and total cocoon output are low” he said.
Similarly, he said cocoon yields are half of the national average and over the past few years the output from the sector has been shrinking.
“Improving seed quality, rearing facilities and cocoon processing will provide a huge shot in the arm for the sector and improve income at farm levels,” Dulloo said.
The technological interventions to strengthen Sericulture is one among the 29 projects, which were approved by the J&K administration after being recommended by UT Level Apex Committee for holistic development of Agriculture and Allied Sectors in J&K.
“One of the main challenges 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. This makes it difficult for them to benefit from the $250 million export market for Indian Silk,” he said.
Dulloo said the new project will ensure that the global fame which silk from J&K had garnered will be regained.
“The major interventions that are being undertaken in the project include planting 10 lakh new mulberry plants in tree mode, doubling silkworm seed production from 8 lakh to 16 lakh, increasing cocoon production from 700 mt to 1350 mt, establishing 100 new chawki rearing centers for supply of chawki worms to seri farmers, giving employment to 7000 new silkworm farmers and skill development of existing 15000 farmers,” he said.
Dulloo said a marketing and value addition support is also being created through the establishment of a high-value enterprise in the form of an Automatic Reeling Machine (ARM) which will directly benefit 2000 seri-farmers.
He said the state-of-the-art machine will allow production of international quality silk within the UT fetching better prices for local cocoons.
The project aims to strengthen processes that promote economic development of sericulture farmers in JK and create an environment of growth and investment in the sector.
Dulloo said the project demonstrates Jammu and Kashmir government’s keen intent to revive and modernize the sericulture industry.
“With the predicted increase in production and quality of silk, as well as the improved livelihoods of those involved, the industry is well on its way to reclaiming its past glory and becoming a major contributor to J&K's economy,” he said.

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