New initiative to raise silk production by 62 pc: Smriti Irani


New Delhi, Textiles Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday said the approval accorded to the Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry by the cabinet, will help in boosting up the production of Bivoltine silk (high quality) by 62 percent by 2020. Briefing media about the priorities, Ms Irani said the aim of the government is to increase the number of people engaged in the silk sector from 85 lakhs to one crore in the next three years and impart training to 50,000 people in the sector. These initiatives will push the country to be self reliant in the production of silk by 2020, she said. Ms Irani said that an Inter- Ministerial committee of related ministries will be set up under the Textiles Ministry to disburse a sum of Rs 1000 crore for development of Research & Development. "Seed production units will be equipped and strengthened, besides increasing the production capacity to cater to the increased demand for silk in the future," she said. Elaborating further the Minister said that under Digital India, web-based solutions will be provided to farmers engaged in seed production and other allied activities. The minister informed that market development is a very important area and 21 cocoon testing centres are being set up in the main silk producing states of the country. Apart from this, 19 basic silk seed farms, 20 silk worm seed production centres, 131 chawki rearing centres and 500 acres of land is being set aside for improved varieties. Infrastructure development by individual farmers and silk producers will be financially supported by the Central Government which will bear 50 per cent of the costs. In case of beneficiaries from North East States, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, the Centre will bear 80 per cent of the cost. A Helpline will be set up for timely redressal of grievances and all outreach programmes. She also urged the State Governments to participate in implementing the Scheme as they have an important role to play in increasing the silk production of the country.