Dotted with the picturesque view of mulberry fields and a series of silk yarn production sheds, Eluvolu, the tiny island in the midst of the Krishna, in Ghantasala mandal is otherwise one of the largest silk production pockets of the district.
The proud Scheduled Caste farmers of the island are unsung heroes in both inspiring the other farmers to switch to this activity and expanding the extent of land under the mulberry cultivation.
“Totally, 30 silk yarn production sheds are being run in the island, in which mulberry leaves are being grown in over 100 acres. Another ten more sheds are under construction,” a grower, Penumuttchu Suresh, has told The Hindu.
Mr. Suresh on his one-acre, inherited from his parents, reaps a profit of at least Rs.10,000 on every harvest, excluding input cost. Maximum silk yield is 90 kg per acre that fetches between Rs.250 and Rs.300 a kg (for Bivolitine variety of silk worm) while CB – yellow, another variety, fetches Rs.250 a kg.
However, Bivoltine is winter-friendly variety. “Silk can be harvested at least six times a year. It’s moreover a balance between growth of mulberry leaves and silk worms,” say farmers.
The farmer is key person in all aspects of work involved in growing mulberry leaves, management of silk worms and selling the produce to the Department of Sericulture centre based at Nuzvidu junction.
Farmers in the island predict that many farmers would switch from other traditional commercial crops to the mulberry cultivation.