Minister Bache Gowda presents awards to 208 progressive farmers and reelers
The State Government has set a target to increase the area under sericulture from 1.55 lakh acres to 2 lakh acres in the next few years.
Speaking after presenting awards to 208 progressive sericulture farmers and reelers here on Saturday, Minister for Sericulture B.N. Bache Gowda said incentives would be given to farmers to encourage them to bring more area under sericulture.
Nearly 49,000 sericulture farmers had been given cash incentive under the Suvarna Bhoomi scheme this year, he added.
Plans had been formulated to encourage sericulture in non-traditional areas. Owing to urbanisation and industrialisation, a lot of land had been lost in the traditional sericulture areas of the State.
Karnataka accounted for 45 per cent of the total silk production in the country. Sericulture was already being taken up in some districts of north Karnataka, he said.
The State produces 7,500 tonnes of silk a year and manufactures silk clothes worth Rs. 9 crore a year.
On import of silk from China, he said the country produced 21,000 tonnes of silk against the demand of 30,000 tonnes a year. Private organisations imported silk from China. Powerloom operators in India preferred Chinese silk, he said.
The Government had urged the Centre to increase import duty on silk from 5 per cent to 31 per cent to generate demand for domestic silk. Reduction of duty was one of the major reasons for crash in prices of cocoons from Rs. 300 to Rs 150 this year, he added.
The Minister felicitated 121 and 87 sericulture growers and releers selected for 2008-09 and 2009-10, respectively.
To provide information to farmers on the prevailing cocoon prices in the markets, the department has launched an SMS facility.
The farmers can get information about the prices by sending SMS to 9243355223 in the following format “CMP1” or “CMP2” or “CMP3”.