(Sample Materials) Economic Survey & Government’s Plan, Programme & Policies – “Sericulture”


(Sample Materials)
Economic Survey & Government’s Plan, Programme & Policies – “Sericulture”

Contents of the Chapter:

  • Introduction
  • Raw Silk & its various kinds
  • Central Silk Board


India continues to be the Second largest producer of silk in
the World. India has the unique distinction of being the only country producing
all the five kinds of silk – Mulberry, Eri, Muga, Tropical Tasar and Temperate
Tasar. Sericulture is an important labour-intensive and agro-based cottage
industry, providing gainful occupation to around 7.25 million persons in rural
and semiurban areas in India. Of these, a sizeable number of workers belong to
the economically weaker sections of society. There is substantial involvement of
women in this Industry.

In India, Sericulture is mostly a village-based industry
providing employment opportunities to a large section of the population.
Although Sericulture is considered as a subsidiary occupation, technological
innovation has made it possible to take it up on an intensive scale capable of
generating adequate income. It is also capable of providing continuous income to
farmers. India is the second largest producer of silk in the world with an
annual silk production of more than 21,000 M. Tons in 2010-11 (provisional).
Although, all the known varieties of silk, viz. Mulberry, Eri, Muga and Tasar
are produced in India, Mulberry silk is the most popular variety. Mulberry silk
alone contributes more than 80% of the Country’s silk production. Silk and silk
goods are very good foreign exchange earners. Export potential of this sector is
promising as silk production in Japan is declining and that of China, the
largest silk producer the World, it is stagnant. The present global scenario
clearly indicates the enormous opportunities for the Indian Silk Industry.

In India, because of the prevalence of favorable climatic
conditions, mulberry is cultivated mainly in five states, viz., Karnataka,
Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Jammu & Kashmir. These five states
collectively account for 97% of the total area under mulberry cultivation and
95% of raw silk production in the country. Now, as a result of growing
realization, sericulture is gaining ground in non-traditional areas too.

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For the development of silk industry in India, the Central
Silk Board, a statutory body, is functioning under the administrative control of
the Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India with its Headquarters at Bengaluru. The
following are the important functions assigned to the Board.

  1. Promoting the development of silk industry by such measures as it thinks
  2. Undertaking, assisting and encouraging scientific, technological and
    Economic Research.
  3. Devising means for improved methods of mulberry
    cultivation, silkworm rearing, developing and distributing healthy silkworm
    seeds, improving methods of silk reeling, improving the quality and
    production of raw silk.

  4. Improving the marketing of raw silk.
  5. The collection and compilation of statistics relating to the sector.
  6. Advising the Govt. of India an all matters relating to the development
    of silk industry including import and export of raw silk.


Raw silk is of two kinds, viz., mulberry and non-mulberry.
The distinction arises from the rearing of silk worms either upon mulberry
leaves or on other plants. Mulberry silk is produced mainly in Karnataka, West
Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh although some other
States have made some progress in this direction under their development plans.
Vanya (Non-mulberry) silk comprising Tasar, Eri and Muga are produced in
Jharkhand, Chattishgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam,
Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland. The different types of Vanya silk and spun silk
and noil yarn are further defined as follows:

Tasar Silk

It is silk reeled from cocoons of silkworms belonging to
saturniidae family, which are fed on leaves of Oak, Asan and Arjuna trees. Tasar
silk is mainly produced in Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh,
Orissa and West Bengal & Andhra Pradesh.

Eri Silk

It is spun from cocoons of silkworms belonging to saturniidae
family, which are fed on castor leaves. Eri yarn is produced in Assam, Bihar,
Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and West Bengal. Unlike other kind of silk, this
cannot be reeled and hence it is only spun. It has natural copperish colour.

Muga Silk

It is silk produced only in Assam from cocoons of silk worms belonging to
saturniidae family, which are fed on Som and Soalu leaves. It has a rich golden

Spun Silk Yarn

Yarn composed of silk filaments of lengths ranging from 1 to 8 inches
produced by bleaching, dressing and spinning the silk waste which is the
by-product of the raw silk reeling industry.

Noil Yarn

It is short-staple residue obtained during dressing operations in silk
spinning from silk waste. It is a by-product of spun silk industry. This can be
spun into Noil yarn of coarse courts.

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