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New project aims to enhance India's silk production
May '12
Sericulture is an important economic sector of India as it offers better employability and profitability prospects for rural farmers as compared to agriculture.

Over the years, most of the states in the country, including the north-eastern states, have been trying to develop their silk industry. However, there still exists an information gap at the grassroots-level in developing silkworm food plants.

Various Space Application Centres (SACs) in several states across the country feel there is great scope for enhancing production and quality of silk by identifying potential areas and implementing enhanced information collection, processing and dissemination methods.

These SACs, together with the Central Silk Board (CSB), have embarked on a new project known as Applications of Remote Sensing and GIS in Sericulture Development during the XI Plan.

The project focuses on discovering potential areas for rearing silkworm food plants in more than 20 states covering over 100 districts across the country, and produce silk varieties like eri, tasar, muga and mulberry silk with the help of a network called Sericulture Information Linkages and Knowledge System (SILKS).

SILKS is a single window information and advisory service system, which provides computerized information regarding storage, value addition and sericulture knowledge to farmers in local languages.

The Board aims to boost silk production in the country by encouraging farmers in non-traditional silk-rearing areas like Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana to undertake silk cultivation, and thereby generate employment opportunities for rural population in these states.

It aims to meet the rising domestic demand for silk, as India currently produces only about 23,000 tons of silk each year against the demand for 30,000 tons of silk per annum.

The project is being taken forward by the CSB in the north-eastern region in tandem with the North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC).

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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