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Realty development for IT, endangers existence of silk
Aug '10
Mulberry plantations, spread on thousands of hectares of area, within and surrounding the city of Bangalore, are now nearing extinction owing to rampant development of real estate activities riding on the back of flourishing IT-ITeS. Owing to this, silk production in Karnataka has come down substantially, compelling several units to put down the lids.

Bangalore and Mysore are the two main regions in Karnataka that cultivate mulberry. Karnataka, which once sourced around 60 percent of the country's requirement for silk production and exports, now merely stands with a 37 percent share. This seems to be an indication of the downfall of the industry that once was a source of employment for thousands of people.

Where prior to the IT explosion, the area under mulberry cultivation in the state stood at 1.66 lakh hectare in 1998-99, then after it came down to 0.88 lakh hectares in 2002-03 and further declined to 0.77 lakh hectares in 2008-09.

This decline in the states' mulberry acreage has even severely impacted the image of sericulture in the country as a whole. The land apportioned for mulberry cultivation across the nation, which was 2.70 lakh hectares in 1998-99 shrunk and was recorded at 1.78 lakh hectares in 2008-09. Also, there was a fall in raw silk production in the state, which declined to 7,360 tons in 2009-10 as against 9,000 tons in the previous years.

Mulberry leaves form the main nosh for silk worms that they require to develop cocoon, which the reelers utilize to spin the yarn to process it into silk fabric.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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