Srinagar: Ajaz Ahmad Bhat (IAS), Director Sericulture J&K, inaugurated a one-day Resham Krishi Mela today at P-4, Basic Seed Farm, Manasbal. In the event more than 500 Silkworm Rearers/youth from all districts of Kashmir participated with great enthusiasm and fervour.
On the occasion the Director Sericulture J&K felicitated 20 progressive Silkworm rearers and 5 Sericulture Entrepreneurs with memento, certificates, and tool kits as token of appreciation. The event was jointly organized by the Sericulture Dev. Department J&K and Central Sericulture Research & Training Institute, CSB, Pampore, showcasing therein the achievements of the sericulture community who have relentlessly dedicated themselves for the welfare of sericulture sector, farmers and silkworm rearers. The Director Sericulture J&K also released various booklets/ pamphlets on the occasion exhibiting technical activities and information related to the sericulture practices as a whole. The stalls highlighting various Centrally Sponsored Schemes, Holistic Agriculture Development Programme (HADP), U.T level schemes, and an array of silk/mulberry products were set up by the Sericulture Dev. Department J&K, CSB, Pampore, and various Entrepreneurs of J&K.
The Director Sericulture J&K while addressing huge gathering of Silkworm rearers and Sericulture Entrepreneurs, assured the full support of the Department for providing technical guidance of sericulture activities, including Silkworm Rearing, Reeling, and Weaving. He informed that Department has also enhanced its Cocoon Bank Revolving Fund from Rs. 70 lakh to Rs. 3.50 Crore for local Reeling Unit holders for increasing consumption of Cocoons at local level and at the same time the department has Introduced Production based Incentives to Rearers /Reelers on Cocoon and Silk production under Capex to encourage them towards higher production/productivity. Besides the Director Sericulture J&K informed that presently the local buyers only consume about 30% cocoons while as the buyers from others states consume 70% cocoons in the Cocoon Auction Markets organized by the Department across J&K and expressed his desire that in coming years the trend should be other way around. Speaking on the occasion the Director Sericulture J&K conveyed that an automatic reeling unit at Khanmoh, Srinagar namely Bombyx Mori with a capacity of 1,50,000 Kgs of cocoons is the biggest reeling unit in entire North India which produces about 20 MTs of Silk yarn and giving employment to a large number of people in the area.
The Director expressed that such kind of reeling units should come up in large numbers so that the J&K shall become the largest silk producing hub in India for which the department requires to take the cocoon production from 699 MTs to more higher levels. Moreover, it was further informed that at present about 27000 families are engaged with silkworm rearing in J&K and efforts are being made to involve more families with this sector. At present there are about 55 lakhs mulberry plants existing as a mulberry wealth across J&K. The department distributes 24 lakhs DFLs across J&K among Silkworm Rearers. The Director Sericulture J&K highlighted the number of Schemes under HADP for up-gradation of Basic Infrastructure at farmer and departmental Level which have been kept to increase the production of Silk in J&K and achieve Self sufficiency in Seed Productions. In this connection, it has been informed that the Government has earmarked 93.75 Crores under HADP in 5 year program to Sericulture Dev. Department for the purpose. Speaking on the occasion Dr. N.K. Bhatia, Director Central Sericulture Research & Training Institute, CSB, Pampore also shared his valuable inputs viz-a-viz different schemes and the benefits which the people of J&K avail by associating themselves with Sericulture Dev. Department and the CSR&TI pampore. Besides, assured that his organization will extend full cooperation in capacity building and Skill development up-gradation of the farmers, Silkworm Rearers and the youths in all the Districts of J&K. The other dignitaries present on the occasion while expressing their views highlighted the potential of Sericulture Sector in transforming the economic scenario of the people of J&K and also emphasized that it is the responsibility and obligatory duty for all stakeholders to closely work in a coordinated and cohesive manner to achieve all the goals and targets envisioned for the overall development of this sector which will certainly give impetus to take this noble mission forward for bringing about prosperity to all sections of people in J&K. The Director Sericulture J&K during the occasion highlighted importance of the adoption of Cocoon farming as an easy and dignified means of earning livelihood by the rural populace especially youth who can avail benefits from various schemes offered by the Department in a short duration. He urged the people in general and the youth in particular to leverage the benefits of all the schemes offered by the department for employment generation. Director Central Sericulture Research & Training Institute, CSB, Pampore, Dr. N.K. Bhatia, Director, ICAR-CITH, Srinagr, Dr. M.K. Verma (ARS), Prof. & Dean TSRI-SKUAST-K, Mirgund, Dr. M.F. Baqal, Head ICAR IGFRI, Srinagar, Dr.Suheel, and officers from Sericulture Dev. Department and Central Silk Board were present and expressed their views on the occasion.