Bilal Ahmad Kawoosa
Sericulture continues to be an occupation for about 22000 families in the state. Most of these families belong to economically backward section of society. Annually about 830 metric tons of cocoons are produced generating an income of about Rs 7.25 crores.
The Department of Sericulture has well established infrastructure for production of mulberry plants in its 173 nurseries (97 in Jammu and 76 in Kashmir) spread over an area of 953 acres, where about 20 lac mulberry plants are produced annually for planting in private departmental mulberry blocks and public land.
In order to increase the income of farmers from cocoon production and for better utilization of available resources the concept of double cropping has to be introduced. Further for large scale bi-voltine production to meet demand of export oriented units and power looms an integrated sericulture project under the corporate sector is required.
The corporate sector will set up large automatic reeling units and will enter into a contract system with farmers who are capable of absorbing modern technology for production of superior quality bivlotine cocoons. The corporate can identify farmers with the support of department of Sericulture, and Central Silk Board and state agencies. The corporate may be identified around 750 farmers. These farmers will be assisted in providing seed/chawki worms through NSSO (National Silk Worm Seed Organisation) Bangalore and progressive licensed seed producers who are capable of producing high quality seed and Chawki for the integrated sericulture project and the farmers will also be provided rearing houses, drip irrigation, disinfectants and training. Around 600 metric tons of good quality cocoons will be produced resulting in production of 90 metric tons of slik yarn.
The further value addition is possible in Silk Tech Park at Zakura under implementation through J&K SICOP. The value addition from cocoon to silk yarn is 300 per cent which implies tremendous boost to the economic activity and employment generation potential of 1.5 lac man-days per annum which means employment to around 500 people directly. Around 40 units will be established in Silk Tech Park with different activities like reeling, twisting, yarn dyeing, weaving, printing etc. For time bound implementation / completion and financial closure of silk tech park project Special Purpose Vehicle will be created which will result in development of traditional labour intensive silk industry on self sustained basis under private sector.
(The writer is the chairman of Industries Sub-Committee of KCCI)