Kashmir cocoon farmers demand silk industry revamp

Srinagar , Thu, 05 Sep 2013 ANI

Srinagar, Sept.5 (ANI): Cocoon farmers in Kashmir have called for a revamp of the region's famed silk industry.

The government is drawing up a blueprint to equip the sericulture department with state-of-the-art latest technology.

Kashmir silk industry once held a significant position in the world due to its superior quality and lustre. But gradually the industry suffered a sharp decline due to insurgency.

"The business has declined in the past few years. We need to improve, but are not able to because the government is not giving us any support," said Muhammad Shafi, a cocoon farmer.

India has an overall demand of 48000 metric tons of silk annually. It is the second largest producer and consumer of silk products in the world.

Around 4400 families in Jammu and Kashmir are engaged in cocoon production.

Cocoon farmers are demanding sufficient cocoon trees and financial assistance to make sheds for silkworm rearing purposes.

But they said the shortage of mulberry trees for rearing the cocoons is a pressing problem.

"The sericulture department employees promise us 100 trees and we get only 10 in reality," said Rubeena Akhter, another cocoon farmer.

The sericulture department claims that it is taking initiatives to regain lost sheen.

"We are improving the infrastructure here. We have inaugurated a new station here today. There is sericulture, which is the backbone of the state, farm in Kashmir, Other than that, we also have industrial areas where farmers are trained. We wish to have our own seeds. Moreover, we are planning to regulate temperature of the weaving sheds so that we are able to produce three crops instead of one. We also want to improve the quality and production," said Secretary of Agriculture and Horticulture of Jammu And Kashmir Asgar Samoon. (ANI)



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