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India to become fully Atmanirbhar in Silk production in next 2 years: Smriti Irani

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo
silk board
MoU signed between Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Central Silk Board under Ministry of Textiles

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Central Silk Board under the Ministry of Textiles on a convergence model for the implementation of Agroforestry in the silk sector under the ongoing Sub-Mission on Agroforestry (SMAF) Scheme.

Dr. Alka Bhargava, Additional Secretary, DAC&FW and Rajit Ranjan Okhandiar, Member Secretary (Central Silk Board), Ministry of Textiles inked the MoU in the presence of Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala & Union Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani and few other dignitaries.

The Memorandum of Understanding aims to incentivize the farmers to adopt sericulture based Agroforestry models thereby contributing to the Make in India and Make for the World vision of the Prime Minister. This collaboration will add another dimension to agroforestry for faster returns to the farmers as well as support the production of silks that India is famous for.

It is important to mention that the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare has been implementing the Sub-Mission on Agroforestry (SMAF) since 2016-17 as part of the recommendation of the National Agroforestry Policy 2014. Presently, the scheme is being implemented in 20 States and 2 Union Territories.

Speaking on the ocassion, Smriti Irani said that India will be completely Atmanirbhar in Silk production in the next 2 years. She added that raw silk production in India has increased 35 percent in the last 6 years. Irani said that more than 90 lakh people have got employment in raw silk production.

Objective of Sub-Mission on Agroforestry

SMAF aims to persuade farmers to plant multi-purpose trees together with the agricultural crops for climate resilience and for additional source of income, as well as improved feedstock to inter alia wood-based and herbal industry. Therefore, there is a concerted effort to include fruits, medicinal, fodder, tree-borne oilseeds, lac host etc. in addition to the longer rotation timber species.

The initiative of formalizing the collaboration in sericulture sector is mainly targeted for growth of sericulture host plants like Asan, Arjuna, Soalu, Som, Mulberry, Kesseru, BadaKesseru, etc. to be cultivated as block plantations and border or peripheral plantations on the farmlands. Growing sericulture based tree species on the farm bunds & rearing silkworms will create additional income opportunities for the farmers besides their regular source of income from farm activities.

Source - PIB

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