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India – a high potential platform forproduction of wild silks

S.K. Gangwar*, VP Gupta and N. Suryanarayana
Central Tasar Research & Training Institute, Piska-Nagri, Ranchi — 835 303, Jharkhand, India Received 3rd Jan. 2007; Revised 2nd Mat 2007

Abstract: Post Indian independence (after 1950) witnessed interesting changes in the world silk production. Though China with 76,324 MT (79% of the total world’s 96,994 MT raw silk production during the year 2003) dominated the scene, a number of big players like Japan, Republic of Korea, USSR and Brazil have drastically reduced silk production to divert their energy in other lucrative fields like electronic goods, etc., which provide better foreign exchange. India, the second largest silk producer in the world, traveled through unique features in this regard. Being sole country to produce all four types of commercially exploited silks (Mulberry, Tasar, Eri and Muga), it is the biggest consumer of raw silk (about 26,000 MT utilized during 2001, of which, 92% was mulberry). However, the demand of raw silk in India is still more. Declining trend of mulberry acreage (1.79 lakh ha as against 3.31 lakh ha during 1991) and many advantages of wild silks’ production and quality, thereby favouring the latter in the years to come, have been discussed with reasonable data.

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