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 Bangladesh Sericulture Development Board (BSDB).
Now they are habituated in homestead sericulture side by side with their regular household activities.
Regional Sericulture Training Center is extending necessary support like silkworm to the farmers. An ideal sericulture village has been established at Meerganj. The growers are selling cocoon at Taka 270 per kilogram.
BSDB has implemented a project promoting sericulture and its industry through entrepreneurship development at different levels of production.
Sirajul Islam, Member (Extension) of BSBD, said the five-year project titled "Extension and Development of Sericulture in Public and Private sector in Bangladesh" was implemented throughout the country by spending Taka 300 million.
Under the project, 23 ideal 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 function as a good center for economic activity and people of the adjacent areas will gradually be inspired and involved in income generation process.
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 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.
Sirajul Islam said the project has been developing suitable mulberry and silkworm varieties besides producing and supplying superior quality mulberry saplings and cuttings and silkworm eggs according to the demands of the farmers.
Some six lakh mulberry saplings were raised and three thousand people were engaged in plantation and nursing of the trees within the project period, under which, 24,000 kg's of seed cocoons will be produced.
Necessary process for providing essential supports for human resource development, infrastructure development, machinery procurement and raw materials is progressing fast under the project.
In addition to arrangement of training for 2130 farmers, 330 people are being provided with improved training on reeling, weaving and dyeing and printing.
Another 700 farmers, 200 spinners and 200 silk weavers are being given need-based training to improve their working efficiency in the field for improvement of rearing of mulberry trees and silkworm and reeling and weaving productivity.
Liakat Ali, vice-president of Bangladesh Silk Industry Owners Association, said boosting production of local yarn can help revitalizing the silk sector to regain its lost legacy alongside meeting the existing local demands
He highlighted various aspects of the silk sector and its contribution to the national and local economy and viewed that the local consumption could be met up through domestic outputs after the best uses of the existing natural resources and there is no doubt in this regard.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)