Country to be self-reliant in silk by 2012

Staff Correspondent

MYSORE: The Chairman of the Central Silk Board, H. Hanumanthappa, on Saturday said that India will become self-reliant in silk by 2012.

Speaking to presspersons at the Central Sericultural Training and Research Institute here, Mr. Hanumanthappa said that India is facing a shortfall of around 10,000 tonnes of silk annually, and this gap will be plugged by 2012.

He said that mulberry growers and silkworm rearers and reelers will benefit from the programmes that are being implemented for the overall development of sericulture. Mr. Hanumanthappa said that over the last three years, silk production has come down to 14,000 tonnes owing to successive drought conditions in the State. He, however, said that during 2004-05, the total silk output had increased to 16,000 tonnes, and that the board has estimated a production of around 18,000 tonnes for 2005-06.

He said that the silk board has been striving to increase the silk output of the bi-voltine variety. Bi-voltine silk production was around 600 tonnes and has increased to over 831 tonnes in 2004-05. Measures have to be taken to produce quality silk in India, he added.

Stating that area under mulberry cultivation has come down drastically, Mr. Hanumanthappa said that the area under the mulberry crop has come down from around 1.2 lakh hectares to around 79,000 hectares. However, there has been an increase in mulberry yield, he said.

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