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Cocoon rearing emerges main subsidiary occupation of women farmers in Udhampur district

5000 families earn Rs 4.49 crore this year

UDHAMPUR: Sericulture is the oldest Agro based labour intensive & commercially attractive economic Industry.

It provides Income & employment to rural people especially farmers with small and marginal land holdings.

It is a subsidiary occupation and more than 5000 families especially women are associated with it in Udhampur District.

The women get job at their door steps and can earn with dignity.

It is a short duration cash crop as the life cycle of silkworm is of 25-30 days duration.

The J&K UT has a special status as its climatic conditions are conducive for bivoltine cocoon production. There is great demand for the bivoltine cocoons in India for production of quality silk.

Udhampur District is the leading district in cocoon production in J&K UT. In the year 2021, the Sericulture department distributed 5001.5 ounces of silkworm seed among 5130 farmers after Chawki rearing.

Recording a bumper harvest, this year the district produced 155151 KG cocoon and the farmers earned an amount of Rs. 4.49 crore.

Mulberry silkworm is a mono-phagus as it feeds on only mulberry leaves. Mulberry is a hardy plant which can be grown in a wide range of climatic conditions.

For rearing of silkworms, the propagation and plantation of mulberry trees is very necessary.

In Udhampur district the department has 15 mulberry nurseries for production of mulberry plants.

The department is providing improved varieties of mulberry plants to the farmers free of cost and at their doorstep.

In the year 2020-21, 60300 Mulberry trees were distributed among the farmers and this year it targets to provide 76300 plants to the farmers free of cost.

Helping the farmers with technological intervention, in the year 2020-2021 the Department distributed 80 Rearing Appliances (Kits) in different Zones of the District, while in the Year 2021-22, it targets to cover 50 beneficiaries under the Scheme.

In addition, the Department also distributes Chawki Reared worms to the farmers for rearing.

The technical staff of the Department provides guidance to the rearers during the Rearing period.

They are advised to maintain proper hygiene in the rearing room by using the disinfectants (provided by the department free of cost), to maintain temperature and humidity as per the stage of the worms.

Marketing of Cocoons is organised by the Directorate of Sericulture, J&K. Market Calendar is published and buyers/ rearers are intimated well before the start of markets. Most of the Buyers participating in the markets are from West-Bengal, Karnataka and local buyers from Kashmir, Jammu and Udhampur.

Cocoons are marketed by way of Open Auction Market system and the highest bidder is entitled to purchase the lot from the seller i.e Cocoon Growers.

All the transactions in the market are made through DBT. This year approximately 4000 rearers sold their cocoons in Cocoon Auction Market Udhampur.

In this regard, the progressive rearers get a handsome amount by selling their crop.

Though it is a short duration crop the top cocoon growers earn approximately Rs. 0.5 lakh annually from sericulture department.

Similarly, the Sericulture Department conducts awareness camps from time to time to acquaint the cocoon growers with latest technological information. Department also conducts study tours within UT and outside.

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