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Orissa to cultivate mulberry to boost silk production

Orissa has vast potential for mulberry and eri silks. Both can be promoted in coastal areas. As of now, Orissa is a predominately tussar producing state as its rich endowment of forest, east coast and tribal population enhance agro-climatic conditions for turras forestry. As many as 20,000 tribal families in the state are practicing sericulture, of which more than 16,000 are tussar farmers and 500 mulberry farmers. About 90 per cent of the total silk produced in Orissa is from tasar. Of 125 tons of silk produced in the state last year, 115 tones was of tussar silk. Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Sundargarh are the three major turssar producing districts as those contribute 90 per cent of the tasar silk production in the state.

While Karnataka is producing 60 per cent of the mulberry, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra contribute 10 per cent each and the rest is contributed by Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and other states. Since Orissa is now getting the basic eri seed from Assam and Tamil Nadu, a seed farm will be opened at Koraput. Two clusters will focus more on increasing production of mulberry. Farmers are being encouraged to go for more mulberry farming as it is priced high compared to other silks available in the country.