Guwahati, Friday, May 11, 2012
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New initiative to boost silk production
 SHILLONG, May 10 – The Central Silk Board (CSB) and State Space Application Centres has taken up a project to extend the silk cultivation area in the State to meet the growing demand of silk in the country thereby provide employment in the rural areas of the State.

 The current demand for silk is 30,000 ton but the country produces about 23000 ton, according to the CSB. The board is trying to extend the cultivation of silk in non-traditional areas like Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, etc.

The project is called Applications of Remote Sensing and GIS in Sericulture Development during the XI Plan. It would identify potential areas for development of silkworm food plants in 24 States across the country covering 106 districts and develop silk such as mulberry, eri, muga and tasar through a network called Sericulture Information Linkages and Knowledge System (SILKS).

SILKS is a single window information and advisory service system for the farmers providing computerized information, storage, value addition and supply of sericulture knowledge to the users in local languages.

CSB said that States on their own are developing the silk industry but there is still an information gap at the grassroots in producing silkworm food plants. CSB is collaborating with the North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC) to take forward the project in the region.

“Sericulture is one of the important economic sectors in India. Compared to agricultural crops, sericulture provides more employment all round the year and fetches higher income for rural farm families,” officials said.

There is tremendous scope for improving the production and quality of silk through identification of additional potential areas and employing improved method of information collection, processing and dissemination, CSB added.

In this regard, the CSB and the NESAC would hold a two-day workshop from tomorrow at NESAC, Umiam where officials from the State Sericulture Department, scientists and officials from State Remote Sensing Application Centers would participate.

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