SERICULTURE


Sericulture, is the production of raw silk by means of raising caterpillars (larvae), particularly those of the domesticated silkworm (Bombyx mori). There are four types of natural silk which are commercially known and produced in the world. Among them mulberry silk is the most important and contributes as much as 90 per cent of world production.

Therefore, the term "silk" in general refers to the silk of the mulberry silkworm. Three other commercially important types fall into the category of non-mulberry silks namely: Eri silk; Tasar silk; and Muga silk.There are also other types of non-mulberry silk, which are mostly wild and exploited in Africa and Asia, are Anaphe silk, Fagara silk, Coan silk, Mussel silk and Spider silk. First cultivation started in China long back. Production was a time consuming process but now a days with advent of modern technology process of obtaining silk has now become easier and takes less time.

To cultivate 1.00 acre of mulberry, about Rs.80, 000 – Rs.1, 00,000 will be required (as per NABARD unit cost) for plantation, shed, equipments, etc.Government provides major inputs like seed (egg), marketing and working capital. There is perennial demand for silk in our country so chances of failure are minimal. It is also considered a sound business proposition for the bankers to lend money to this sector. Return on investment here was much higher than crops like paddy, tobacco, cotton and sugarcane.

The industry has survived the stiff competition with the man-made fibres and it is now estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations that the total requirement of silk by 1980 would be of the order of 80,000 tonnes, leaving a demand of 35,000 tones. Information on different aspects of sericulture as well as on training on sericulture can be obtained from website of Central Silk board.

Portfolio of SERICULTURE