Indian sericulture farms manufacture four types of silk - Mulberry, Tassar, Eri and Muga of which Mulberry silk accounts for 90 per cent of the total silk production in the country. In rain fed areas, mulberry is planted at a distance of 7.6 X 7.6 cm in rows at locations where the temperature ranges from 160 to 310 degrees Celsius. The silkworm Bombyx Mori is reared throughout the year. The total life span of this silkworm is 50 days. At the end of the larval duration, the silkworm emits silk from its mouth and builds a cocoon on scaffolding. The average annual yield of cocoons in India is as low as 150 kgs under rain fed conditions and 400 kgs under irrigated conditions. The silk is removed from the cocoons by cooking the cocoons in hot water.There are over 60 lakh (External website that opens in a new window) persons are engaged in various sericulture activities in the country. Karnataka is one of the leading States where sericulture is practiced. The districts of Dharwad and Tumkur are the most popular silk producing regions as they have the perfect sub humid to dry semi arid climate. Here sericulture involves two steps. The first one is the cultivation of mulberry gardens, as mulberry leaves are the only form of food for silkworms. The second is the construction of a shed to ensure specific climatic conditions of humidity between 70 to 80 per cent and a temperature of 27 degrees Celsius. The process from egg to cocoon takes around a month. Nursery raising, rainwater harvesting, incubation, black boxing, biomass trench system and vermin composting play a big part in the rearing of silk worms in Karnataka.
Karnataka is home to the Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute (External website that opens in a new window), which is located in the city of Mysore. This body is the pioneer research institute in the field of sericulture. It is responsible for developing new technologies, conducting research, training personnel and testing silk machinery. The Central Silk Board (External website that opens in a new window) is also located in the State of Karnataka.Assam (908 KB) (PDF file that opens in a new window) is another major producer of silk in India. Sualkuchi is the biggest centre of silk production and weaving in the State. The main varieties of silk produced are Muga and Eri silk. Mulberry and Oak Tassar are also made in limited quantities. Other major silk producing states in the country are Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Source: National Portal Content Management Team