Karnataka, which is at the forefront of raw silk production in the country, is providing a further impetus to the sericulture sector in the State.

Presenting State Budget for 2023-24, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced that mulberry cultivation will be expanded to another 10,000 acres. Presently, 1.39 lakh farmer families are involved in sericulture in an area of 1.15 lakh hectares in the State, where about 9,686 tonnes of raw silk is produced.

“For the benefit of silk growers in Kolar, Chikkabalapura and neighbouring districts, a hi-tech cocoon market will be constructed in Shidlaghatta, which is the second biggest cocoon market in Asia at the cost of ₹75 crores with NABARD assistance,” Bommai announced. The State has already put in place an e-auction and e-cash payment facility to ensure scientific prices to silk growers and to bring transparency to the market. Also, six cocoon testing centres, a hi-tech cocoon market, and cold storage units have been established.

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Further, to facilitate silk growers to produce quality raw silk using modern technology, an assistance of ₹10 crore will be provided to establish 32 automatic reeling units. Further, an amount of ₹12 crores is earmarked to provide shredders to 1,000 silk growers, Bommai said adding that a grant of ₹8 crore will be provided for strengthening the infrastructure in the Mysuru seed area to support continuous production and supply of cocoon seeds. Also, a grant of ₹5 crore will be provided for the installation of a hot air conveyor dryer in 10 major silk growing areas of the State for the long-term preservation of cocoons and to ensure better price to farmers.

With the Centre announcing a reduction in duty to encourage the export of prawns, Karnataka plans prawn farming clusters will be established in the Yadagiri, Raichur, and Bellary districts of Kalyana Karnataka. “To encourage value addition and export of fish, a Seafood Park will be established under Public Private Partnership (PPP) at Kambadakone in Bynduru taluk,” he said.

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