Cocoon procurement takes off in Kashmir

Srinagar: The Sericulture department today inaugurated procurement/ auction of Cocoon to facilitate the farmers of Kashmir Division to sell their produce at competitive prices.
The government has fixed Rs 975/Kg for Grade-A crop and Rs 675/ KG for Grade-B produce. The provision of selling Grade C and D produce to private buyers by the farmers has also been made by the department. The rate is said to be best in the market under present circumstances.
Speaking at the inauguration of the auction, Director Sericulture, Manzoor Ahmad Qadri said that silk worm rearing is a highly time efficient farming activity with great benefits for the farmers.
The ceremony was attended by MD, JK Industries Limited, Sanjay Handoo; Joint Director Agriculture, Chaudhary Iqbal and many other officers of Sericulture department along with farmers and buyers from outside UT.
The Director said that silk rearing is the only trade where the farmers are provided incubated seeds by the department. He maintained that this farming activity is of very short period of 15 days and the gains are immediate. He revealed that it is the only farming activity where department holds hand of rearers from procuring seeds till marketing of the produce.
He stated that silk worm rearing needs minimum space and needs no land or agricultural tools to get culminated. He assured the farmers that government is committed to provide every facility to the farmers provided they are committed to continue this activity.
Elaborating on the welfare measures, the Director said that department is contemplating to extend health insurance benefits to the farmers in near future. He also said that shelf rearing is the future of silk rearing and government would provide these facilities to the farmers free of cost. He said that it enhances both quality and quantity of the produce.
The Director apprised the farmers that department is keen to provide every kind of necessary assistance to the farmers. He stated that any quantity of seed could be given to the progressive farmers and any number of farmers could be served by the department to take up this activity successfully.
The farmers were also made aware about different schemes and welfare measures offered by the department. They were informed that GoI also provides Rs 1.25 lakh for construction of shelter shed for silkworm rearing. The farmers were appealed to utilize the benefits exclusively for furthering this farming activity.
The reelers, weavers and rearers also shared their experiences at the ceremony.
Pertinent to mention here that silk worm rearing is the seasonal farming trade with which thousands of families are associated in J&K. It creates employment avenues for many more including farmers, traders and industrial workers. And the silk produced from cocoons reared here are thought to be the best in the world.

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