Bihar setting up silk farming centre in Kishanganj
Bihar will soon have an advanced centre on sericulture (silk farming) in Kishanganj, around 400km northeast from here.
The agriculture department has sanctioned Rs 60 crore in for the proposed centre at Abdul Kalam Agriculture College this fiscal. It will be utilised in putting in place the necessary infrastructure and also for the college's development. "The aim of setting up this centre is to promote silk industry in the state," agriculture minister Prem Kumar said about the reason behind the project.
A total of 101 posts of teaching and non-teaching staff have been sanctioned for the centre of which three will be of chief scientist, 14 for senior scientists and 42 for junior scientists. The appointment of 42 non-teaching staff would be done through outsourcing, said an official in the agriculture department.
The advanced centre will have separate departments for detailed study on mulberry plants, mulberry production, silkworm, silk textile technology and the one dealing with the pest problem that afflict silkworms. "This centre would take care of the interests of silk growers as well as those who are associated with the silk textile industry," said a senior official in the agriculture department.
He added that the proposed centre, through detailed study, will help farmers involved in sericulture as the cultivators would have at their disposal latest techniques and also the means to fight pests that inflict large-scale losses on them.
Even though there is no updated official figures on the number of farmers engaged in sericulture in Bihar, agriculture department sources revealed that it could be anything between 25,000 and 50,000.
"Sericulture is popular in Bhagalpur, Banka, Munger, Saharsa, Supaul and some other areas. The farmers at present hardly have any access to modern practices as there is no such institution in Bihar that can provide them the technical and scientific input," said the agriculture department official. "Setting up of this advanced centre on sericulture will be a boon for the farmers."
The centre will also be beneficial for people engaged in the silk industry, as there would be a separate department for silk textile technology.