Field level development activities of silk are progressing successfully with the aim of bringing back its lost glory through revitalizing the sector across the country.
Bangladesh Silk Development Board (BSDB) has distributed 39.5 lakh mulberry plants, 35.01 lakh disinfected silk cocoon and 12.16 lakh eggs among the farmers in last 10 fiscal years. More than 12,575 kilograms of silk yarn were produced in the public miniflature centres. Six power looms of the experimentally launched Rajshahi Silk Factory manufactured 400 yards silk clothes in last three months.
A silk design and display centre has been built side by side with various other infrastructure developments.
Abdul Hakim, director general of BSDB, told BSS here that 300 mulberry blocks were established in expansion areas for boosting capacity of the sericulture farmers.
Sericulture has been incorporated in the ‘Ekti Bari, Ekti Khamar (EBEK)’ project for strengthening the agro-based economy through reviving the lost glory of sericulture.
Under the joint venture, around 2.75 lakh mulberry plants were distributed among 1,680 EBEK members. Some 777 of them were given need-based training on how to plant and nurse the plants properly.
Twenty-three sericulture villages were established in the potential areas as a model to improve capacity of small and marginal farmers to establish high yielding mulberry garden and produce superior quality of silk cocoon.
The villages have started functioning as a good center for economic activity and people of the adjacent areas are gradually being inspired and involved in income generation process.
Many grassroots people are putting in their best efforts to attain success in sericulture through boosting local yarn production which is very important to revitalize the sector.
In Bagha and Charghat upazilas of the district, most of the villagers were seen interested in mulberry and silkworm farming with intervention of BSDB.
Now they are habituated to homestead sericulture side by side with their regular household activities. The growers are selling cocoon at Taka 270 per kilogram.
Abdul Hakim says the sericulture and silk industry, by its nature, is a family based labor- intensive economic activity that provides employment for the rural people.
More than six lakh people are involved in this industry of which one lakh are cocoon growers and the rest are engaged in silk reeling, spinning, weaving, dyeing, printing, finishing and trading activities.
The multidisciplinary activities provide unique job opportunities to the marginal farmers, landless poor, rural artisans and also the urban silk fabric manufacturing industries and contribute a lot to poverty reduction, he added.
He said there are around 80 small and medium silk factories in the private sector with a capacity of manufacturing 25.50 million meters fabrics annually.
Apart from this, there are about 10,000 private handlooms with capacity of producing 30 million meters silk fabric.