Indian Sericulture Sector
In light of the growing demand for silk, partially fuelled by the fall in Chinese silk imports, silk cocoon production in Karnataka has been increasing.
Silk in India
Silk is derived from the cocoons of silkworms (Bombyx mori). India has 5 main types of silk:
- Mulberry silk
- Tropical tussar silk
- Eri silk
- Muga silk
- Oak tussar silk
Silkworms are mainly reared by feeding them mulberry leaves. The silk obtained from non-mulberry silkworms are called vanya silk. The eri, muga and tussar are the 3 types of vanya silks in India.
The rearing of the first 2 stages of silkworm in sericulture is called chawki rearing. It is a crucial part of the process as it has major bearing on the crop loss. The government had set up chawki rearing centres to rear the worms till the second stage and then hand over the crop to the farmers. This is one of the contributors to the increase in production.
Bivoltine Silk Cocoons
Bivoltine silk is mainly produced in India as a substitute for import of white silk from China. It is a high quality mulberry silk noted for its ability to reflect the color after dyeing. Its quantity output is lesser than that from crossbreed yellow cocoons and yet farmers prefer it. Bivoltine means producing 2 broods in a season.
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