The government is trying to revive the age old silk Industry in the state and for this various measures are being taken.
On Tuesday a Silk Cocoon Auction Market set up by Sericulture Department at Solina Srinagar was inaugurated to facilitate selling and buying of local silk cocoons. The cocoon auction market was set up for farmers to sell their cocoons at competitive rates to buyers both within and outside the state.
With cocoon growers receiving an increased price for their produce this year in the auction market compared to last year, the government took no time to take credit for the same. The state’s agriculture Minister expressed his happiness with the upshot saying that it was due to the sustained efforts of the concerned department that both Silk Cocoon production and its quality has improved.
Pertinently, last year price of Cocoon per Kg was around Rs 750 to 800, whereas it has shot upto Rs1250 per Kg this time. This no doubt is an increase but are the rearers getting the support price for their product so that they can be forced to take up this trade for a longer duration of time.
Although the government claims that Silk Cocoon rearing is turning out to be a profitable and viable option for farmers as State Government is extending assistance through various incentives, technological inputs and timely guidance in this regard.
Financial assistance is being provided to local Silk reeling units through loans and other incentives which will be provided to benefit farmers and local unit holders as well. Besides, the Government is working on different initiatives so that integrated Silk Industry flourishes in the State.
What seems of interest in the auction market was attended by buyers from various parts of the India including West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka and other states.
However, this development can be termed as a mere beginning and this move of the government needs to be taken forward. For this however, the government has to ensure that those associated with the trade are incentivized properly. The government should ensure all the measures that will make the rearers retain the cocoon rearing business.
The silk cocoon Industry is presently into the hands of those who have very little sources of income. The rearers being from humble backgrounds need lot of governmental support.
One aspect of the support is providing subsidized mechanical inputs like sheds and other small time requirements. The department of sericulture has kept certain road blocks which need to be removed immediately.
The department provides sheds to rearers, but to only those who sustain in the trade for five years. This needs to be changed.
Secondly, the rearers are not getting any health benefits. The rearers say that the government provides health insurance to female rearers only. Several case have come to fore where the Department of Sericulture has not provided any health benefit to the male rearers. This issue can be taken up with the central silk board or the agency concerned so that the male rearers too are included in the insurance scheme.
The government has to be more generous in incentivizing the loans for the reares, especially those who are young and educated and wish to take up silk rearing as a full time profession.