|Centre takes major initiatives to boost silk production in NE|
SHILLONG, Oct 28 - To counter China’s growing silk production, the Government of India has pumped in Rs 690 crore in 24 districts in the region, Central Silk Board (CSB) chairman KM Hanumantharayappa said today.
“Under North East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS), 24 projects worth Rs 690 crore is being implemented in the north-eastern States and of these, six are in Assam, one in Sikkim, two each in Meghalaya and Manipur and the rest in other States,” Hanumantharayappa told PTI on his one-day visit to the State.
He said the scheme is being implemented under two broad categories – the Integrated Sericulture Development Project (ISDP) and the Intensive
Bivoltine Sericulture Development Project [IBSDP] covering Mulberry, eri and muga.
The scheme is aimed at a holistic development of sericulture in all its spheres from plantation development to production of fabrics with value addition at every stage of production chain.
“All four commercially exploited varieties of silk – mulberry, muga, eri and tasar – are produced in the North-east and this region contributes about 21 per cent of the total silk production in the country,” he said.
The Silk Board chairman also informed that the government has big plans as far as promotion of silk farming is concerned to meet the domestic demand and also at the same time to counter China’s Silk production.
He also lauded the eri production which has reached 3,600 tonne in 2016-17 even as muga production was 141 tonne and production of mulberry silk stood at 45 tonne this year.
In Meghalaya, the Centre has funded a pilot mulberry project for three years worth Rs 29 crore at Thadlaskein in West Jaintia Hills district and also at the government farm at Laban.
The mulberry farms in Meghalaya are almost a 100 year old, first set up by the British in 1925 but their growth story after Independence is negligible and is a dying art at present.
Taking a cue from what the British did, the Centre has identified three districts in Meghalaya and an intensive awareness campaign will be launched to help draw back silkworm farmers to the trade.
“Before we started silk board, British had identified Shillong as a centre for rearing silkworms. We are implementing a Rs 29 crore 3 year n-to-n project in Mulbery production wherein nursery, land development, plantation, rearing tools, rearing house, irrigation for plantation, cocoon, product development, marketing and training for farmers,” he said.
The Integrated project for eri, mulbery and muga is in West Jaintia Hills district, Williamnagar in East Garo Hills and Trikkikilla in West Garo Hills district, the Central Silk Board, chairman added. – PTI