The Telegraph
Saturday , December 15 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Silk policy to woo farmers

A policy on mulberry silk cultivation would be sent to the state cabinet for approval within a month, senior officials at the state industries department have said.

Speaking to The Telegraph on Friday, Naveen Verma, principal secretary, industries, said the policy, christened Mulberry Vikas Yojana, has been framed and some final meetings in this connection were on at present.

“Scientists, experts and others with knowledge on the subject would attend a meeting-cum-workshop on the same tomorrow (Saturday). The policy, aimed at encouraging mulberry silk cultivation, is in the final leg of being framed. Tomorrow’s meeting will decide some more points regarding the policy, which will be ready within a month at the most. Thereafter, it will be sent to the state cabinet for an approval,” said the senior officer.

During Seva Yatra earlier this year, chief minister Nitish Kumar has expressed an idea to develop mulberry silk cultivation along the Kosi division, in the districts of Supaul, Madhepura and Saharsa.

“The policy is being framed on the directions of the chief minister. Its draft will include several points and the department has taken help of a lot of farmers, scientists and experts. It has been produced before the Central Silk Board in Bangalore. They too have helped the state government towards framing the policy. It will mainly focus on the increase of earnings of farmers already engaged in the farming and encourage more to take up the same. The policy will have points to give the farmers technical support and also a proper system through which the farmers in every cluster of the region get seeds easily,” said the senior bureaucrat.

In May this year, Nitish Kumar said the industry would be set up in districts of Supaul, Saharsa, Madhepura, Kishanganj, Araria, Khagaria, Samastipur and Begusarai which have ideal humid weather conditions for cultivation of mulberry silk.

During his visit to Sadanandpur village in Supaul district, Nitish had announced that the village would be developed as a hub of silkworm cultivation. Verma added that the department had entered into an MoU with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) for developing the handloom sector of the state.

“The MoU has been signed recently and things in the handloom sector would be improved. Stress would be on the increase of handlooms and giving weavers opportunities so as to boost the sector,” he added.

Government records show the presence of 34,000 handlooms in the state and 1,32,000 weavers.

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