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Chhattisgarh News
Villagers earn additional income from silk farming

RAIPUR: Silk farming is a better additional source of income for the farmers and labourers of Chhattisgarh. Taking benefit of the silk development schemes of the Gramodyog department of the state government, the villagers of naxal violence-hit Jagadalpur district have proved it by their hard work.

Abounding production of Tasar Kosa cocoons has been taken in the natural Saal forests of the district. Besides, Shahtuti silk is cultivated in the villages.

Silk directorate has been providing job to 300 families, working as various self-help groups, in the Tasar Seed Production Centre, in Chapka village of the district. Every year, about 12 lakh Tasar (Kosa) silk cocoons bred on Arjun trees in the 68-hectare area of the centre. With this, beneficiaries of 60 families get additional income of about Rs 24,000. Besides, about 250 other families are linked with this tasar seed production centre, which take seeds from here and cultivates kosa cocoons on the natural Saal forests.

Farmer Gagru of Manjhauta village produced 16,000 kosa fruits in the year 2013-14 and earned Rs 1.32 lakh. Pensai of Phaphani village earned Rs 1.10 lakh by taking two crops of Kosa fruits. He used this money in five-acre farmland and with the profit from it, he constructed a concrete house and purchased a motorcycle also.

Arjun saplings were planted in the 10-acre land of Silk directorate in Bade Garvand village, in which Ma Vamandei Kosa Krimi Palan self-help group has been farming Tasar Kosa. The silk centre operated in Bade Marenga village of the district is also playing important role in making villagers self-reliant economically.

Some years ago, Chief Minister Dr  Raman Singh himself had visited this centre and had praised the activities here. In 30-acre land of this centre, which is about 20 years old, about half-a-dozen women self-help groups have been farming silk worm on the Shahtut plants. Every year Malbari silk cocoons worth Rs 7.5 lakh are prepared here. This amount is deposited directly in the account of women self-help groups.

The Silk Directorate operates Cocoon Bank and Silk Kosa Threading Centre in Dharampur village of the district. 30 machines were installed at the centre for Kosa threading, on which 28 beneficiaries are working. In another centre, silk thread production works are done through Matka pulling system, in which 22 beneficiaries are working. As such, the centre has become bread-earner for 50 families.

In 2010-11, the officers of Silk Directorate, by organising awareness camps in villages, had imparted training to the villagers in producing raily Kosa. Thereafter, by launching campaign with the assistance of the villagers, 25 lakh butterflies were released in Saal forests. As a result, 7.10 crore raily kosa were produced in 2011-12 and 7.20 crore in the year 2012-13.