HYDERABAD: With an annual growth rate of 19 per cent, India is expected to be self-sufficient in silk production by 2020, Central Silk Board (CSB) Chairman K M Hanumantharayappa has said. "Our output is 28,000 MTs (metric tonne) to 30,000 MTs at present. Our production is growing year to year. We are aiming to stop imports from China and produce that much in three-four years," Hanumantharayappa told PTI here. China produces 80 per cent of global silk output, while India's share is 13 per cent, he said. The production in other countries account for the remaining 7 per cent. However, there is a 19 per cent growth in production and the aim is to produce around 34,000 MTs to make the country self-sufficient, he said. "We have come closer. If we can continue this momentum, we can do it in the next three-four years," he said. Silk imports have come down to 3500 MTs now from about 6,500 MTs, he said. China produces only mulberry, but India produces other varieties, including Tasar and Muga, he said. The CSB, a statutory body established in 1948 by an Act of Parliament, functions under the control of Union Ministry of Textiles. Its mandated activities include, research and development, maintenance of silkworm production seed production network, leadership role in commercial silkworm seed production and standardising quality parameters in various production. The CSB chairman said the Board is offering a number of services like technological support to farmers, subsidies on machines and free training to the farmers. The state governments can pitch in to increase silk production by supporting farmers through monetary benefits and through other means, he said, adding that the Board would also help the cause.
Source: The Financial Express