Today's Paper

TN to get automatic silk reeling unit

M. Soundariya Preetha

COIMBATORE: Tamil Nadu is all set to get its first automatic silk reeling unit, thus giving a boost to the sericulture sector in the State.

The Rs. 3-crore project will come up at Paariyur in Gobichettipalayam taluk.

The State that has about 25,000 mulberry farmers and 23,000 acres under sericulture produces just about 1,000 tonnes of silk a year. Only about 45 per cent of the cocoon produced in the State is consumed here.

According to officials in the directorate of sericulture, the State has just about 250 reeling units now. An automatic reeling unit will give a boost to the sector here. The units currently operating in the State produce thick variety silk, which is used to make saris mostly.

The entrepreneur for the unit was selected a month ago based on educational qualification, financial strength, sericulture experience and age, says an official. The machinery will be imported from China and the plant is expected to be operational soon. The entrepreneur had already visited China and had a look at the machinery.

According to K.L. Bhoobash Kangayan, the entrepreneur who will establish the unit, it will need about a tonne of cocoon (bivoltine variety) every day and will produce 120 kg of silk a day. It plans to source cocoon through contract farming method to ensure quality. Inputs and finance will also be arranged for farmers. Central Silk Board will provide Rs. 50 lakh as assistance and efforts are on to get about Rs. 15 lakh from the State Government.

Mr. Kangayan says marketing the silk reeled in the automatic unit will not be a problem as it will be of fine quality and can be used to make different types of fabric. Silk of the same quality, which is imported from China, costs about Rs. 2,000 per kg. "Buyers are ready to buy it at our doorstep." Hence, the focus will be on farmers.