JAMMU: Sericulture Development Department in collaboration with Rural Development Department on Saturday launched Mulberry Plantation under MGNREGA convergence programme in district Kathua at Gurah Kalyal Village of Mandli Block.
Director Sericulture, Gulzar Ahmad Shabnum, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), Kathua, Joginder Singh, Assistant Commissioner Development (ACD), Kathua, S Sukhpal Singh jointly launched the drive in presence of District Sericulture Officer (DSO), Kathua, Anju Koul, BDO Mandli, Satish Kumar, scientists of Central Silk Board, job card holders, silkworm rearers and a large number of locals were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Director Sericulture, Gulzar Ahmad Shabnum said that a comprehensive action plan is underway to ensure large scale mulberry plantation in rural areas during the current season in coordination with rural development department under convergence programmer in the state, an official handout read.
He said about forty thousand highly improved mulberry plants are being planted in the community blocks of Kathua district having vast potential for silkworm rearing, adding that mulberry plantation under MGNREGA could prove effective for livelihood generation as well as creation of mulberry green wealth for expansion of silkworm activities with the ultimate goal of stabilising rural economy.
“Sericulture department is exploring possibilities of utilising the vacant state, Kah charai and waste lands for coverage under mulberry plantation across the state to ensure abundance of green foliage for silkworm rearing,” the director said and appealed the Panchayat institutions and locals to coordinate with the functionaries of the sericulture department in protection, upkeep and maintenance of mulberry wealth in their areas. He also suggested rural youth to venture into silkworm rearing and other post cocoon activities guaranteeing quicker and higher dividends, the handout read.
ACD, Kathua and DSO, Kathua also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the importance of MGNREGA and sericulture activities in rural socio economic transformation.
Director sericulture along with DSO, Kathua also visited various mulberry nurseries in Kathua district to inspect the various plantation activities and availability of plant material for the ongoing plantation programme. He was informed that 1.70 lakh mulberry plants were available in the departmental nurseries of the district for transplantation during the current season and target for raising 4 lakh plants for next season is being chased, the handout added.