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State to retain top spot in silk production
- Meet on augmentation scheme today

Jharkhand is poised to be declared as the country’s highest tussar silk producer in this financial year too. Besides, the state is also planning to utilise a specific central scheme to augment its production to help bridge the gap between demand and supply across the nation.

With a total production of 1,209 metric tonnes (MT) of tussar, the state had topped in 2012-13. “The current season is already over and the production figure for 2013-14 financial year stands at 2,004 MT, which is the highest in the country,” informed Dhirendra Kumar, special secretary-cum-director, state silk directorate, during a press briefing at his office on Thursday.

He added, “We want to utilise the benefits of catalytic development programme (CDP) run by Central Silk Board and further increase our production.”

The guidelines under CDP for the 12th plan period, that has already been framed, could be used to give impetus to all stages of silk production, right from seed rearing to making threads, Kumar explained.

He added that under the scheme, the beneficiary has to finance only 10 per cent of the total cost involved, while the rest would be borne by the central (80 per cent) and state (10 per cent) governments.

In order to popularise the scheme, the government will organise a state-level workshop on “implementation of CDP” at Khelgaon indoor auditorium on Friday.

“Over 5,000 persons involved in silk production are likely to attend it,” Kumar added.

Chief minister Hemant Soren will also attend the session.

“Sericulture scientists from Bangalore and Ranchi will conduct the technical sessions,” Kumar said.

The state silk directorate chief added that 48 such cultivators would be given awards on the occasion and a three-day exhibition-cum-sale would also be held at nearby RD Munda Kala Bhavan.

The total annual production of all kinds of silk is currently around 26,000 MT in the country, whereas the demand is 36,000 MT.

“This shortfall of 10,000 MT can be addressed by importing silk. But we want to reduce the gap by popularising CDP,” Kumar said.