SRINAGAR: Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura today said that State Government is keen to develop silk industry of Kashmir on modern lines and would provide best possible market facilities for cocoon rearers.
The Minister said this after inaugurating Silk Worm Seed Cold Store at Tulsi Bagh here. The cold store was completed in a record time of six months period at an estimated cost of Rs 1.25 crore. The plant has a capacity to house 20,000 silkworms of seed at a time.
Hanjura said State has huge potential for cocoon production and more people can take up sericulture as an economic activity with comparatively little expenditure. He said that there is need to establish more silk reeling units in the State so that cocoon production is utilized locally for value addition and employment generation.
He expressed the hope that the Store features all the stages of cold chain through which the silkworm seed has to pass in the run-up to its release for spring silkworm rearing.
The Minister said special focus is being given to support silk industry in the State and develop it on modern lines. He said in this regard various initiatives have been taken especially in silkworm seed production and post cocoon sector for the promotion of sericulture industry.
He said it is inspiring that this year during cocoon auction its rearers got the better reward for their hard work than from the previous year. Hanjura further added that in this year Government organized cocoon auction market a good number of farmers, reeling unit holders and outside rearers participated. He thanked the farmers and other unit holders for their cooperation and assured them that every possible help will be provided to them for the promotion of sericulture activities.
He also underscored the need to generate more awareness among the farming community about the latest techniques of the field and Government’s welfare schemes for increasing cocoon production. The Minister also stressed for adopting innovative methods for an increase in sericulture production in the State.
Hanjura also had an interaction with farmers and reeling unit holders of the State, where he patiently listened to the number of demands and grievances raised by the participants. The Minister assured them that their genuine demands would be resolved at an earliest.
MLA Batamaloo, Noor Mohammad Sheikh, Secretary Agriculture Production Department Showkat Ahmad Beigh, Director Sericulture Mir Tariq Ali, Director Agriculture Kashmir Khurshid Ajaz Andrabi and other senior officers of the department were also present on the occasion.