What is Sericulture Farming? [A Complete Guide]

. 9 min read
What is Sericulture Farming? [A Complete Guide]

Table of Contents:

1. How To Start Silk Business In India?

2. History Of Silk Production In India

3. What Is Silk Farming/Sericulture?

4. Business Of Sericulture In India

5. Where To Begin Silk Production In India?

6. Requirements For Sericulture Farming Or Silk Business

7. Government Initiatives For Sericulture In India

8. Challenges Of Sericulture Farming Business

1. How To Start Silk Business In India?

In India, the love for silk fabric is eternal. Silk is a symbol of elegance and sophistication. Right from ancient times, today, and even in the future, we need to acknowledge the fact that silk manufacturing is a flourishing business, which means that silk farming, too, is a profitable business, as it is the primary condition for manufacturing silk.

In this blog, we are going to look into the silk farming or Sericulture business in India. Now, before getting into the details, it is important to know the background of the silk industry in India. It will help us understand the industry's size and give viable reasons to enter the Silk Farming Industry.

2. History Of Silk Production In India

Silk production in India is one of the oldest and still functional businesses. Indians started producing silk from the 15th century itself. India is the second-largest producer of silk in the world, the first being China. It is popular in almost all parts of the country. Some of the famous varieties of silk produced in India are:

  • Muga Silk, Assam
  • Banarasi Silk, Uttar Pradesh
  • Baluchari Silk, West Bengal
  • Bhagalpuri Silk, BIhar
  • Sambalpuri Silk, Odisha
  • Kancheepuram Silk, Tamil Nadu
  • Mysore Silk, Karnataka
  • Paithani Silk, Maharashtra
  • Patola Silk, Gujarat
  • Mulberry Silk
  • Tropical Tasar Silk
  • Oak Tasar Silk
  • Eri Silk
  • Muga Silk

India is the only country that produces all five types of commercial silk. Hence, considering the history, demand, and the size of the Indian silk industry, let's see in detail how to start a sericulture farming business in India and what are the various initiatives taken by the Government to boost the industry. Indian silk also has a huge demand in the foreign market.

3. What Is Silk Farming/Sericulture?

Sericulture in India is an agro-based or cottage industry that rears silkworms for silk manufacturing. The process of Sericulture farming involves the following two activities:

  • Cultivation of Mulberry trees, as a feed to the caterpillar.
  • Reeling of cocoons to extract the silk filament.

4. Business Of Sericulture In India

Sericulture in India has provided widespread employment opportunities in rural areas. Although classified as an agro-based industry, it provides regular income to the farmers. Due to technological advancements, sericulture can also be carried out as a large-scale business activity. Silk Production in India has increased employment opportunities among women. The gestation period is low, but the profits are higher. Sericulture Farming is an eco-friendly business. Both wastes from the silkworms and mulberry leaves can be recycled and used again.

5. Where To Begin Silk Production In India?

Though the demand for silk is high across the country, only a few states are engaged in the sericulture business on a large scale. Some of the largest silk producing states in India are:

  • Karnataka
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Assam
  • West Bengal
  • Tamil Nadu

6. Requirements For Sericulture Farming Or Silk Business

  • Land: This is the most important element to start the business. This is where the Mulberry leaves are grown as a feed for silkworms.
  • Mulberry foliage: There are various categories like Kanva-2, S-13, S-34, etc. The selection of mulberry foliage should depend on the type of land and the rainfall, climate conditions of that region.
  • Silkworm rearing home: It is the place where silkworms are reared to produce cocoons.
  • Rearing equipment: These are the equipments that are used to rear silkworms. They are rearing beds, mountages, chopping boards, etc.
  • Silkworm eggs: The basic raw material in the silkworm business.
  • Farm equipment: These are essential for harvesting mulberry leaves.

7. Government Initiatives For Sericulture In India

Sericulture in India has been promoted both by the Central Government and the respective State Government. The following are the important initiatives taken to promote sericulture business in India:

  • The Central Silk Board, Ministry of Textiles has launched Silk Samagra, an integrated scheme for the development of the silk industry to increase the quality of Indian silk to reduce the country's silk imports.
  • The Central Silk Board has launched the Catalytic Development Programme, which provides financial assistance, in partnership with respective State Governments to start a sericulture unit.
  • National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD) provides long-term loans to start a sericulture unit.
  • Apart from providing financial assistance, adequate training, and technical assistance is also provided by the Government to the farmers about sericulture business.
  • The Central Government has also imposed hefty amounts of anti-dumping duties to reduce Chinese silk imports to promote domestic business.

8. Challenges Of Sericulture Farming Business

Although being a profitable business, there are some challenges in the sericulture business. Silkworms can be affected by pebrine disease. It infects and kills the eggs even before the hatching of the larvae. It has many transportation issues. Inadequate know-how about the latest developments in the production methods. No to little awareness about the Government schemes is visible. Import of Raw Silk from China becomes a task.

Despite these challenges, you can still go for silk farming because of the eternal demand for silk in India, budget-friendly costs, and Government assistance towards the silk industry.

Also read:

How to Start Silk Business in India? Steps, Process & more
Are small business loans secured or unsecured?
What are Organic & Eco-friendly Products? How to start this business?
How to become Environment Friendly?

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Q. What are the career options in sericulture?

Ans- Sericulture in India offers career opportunities in the following fields:

  • Central Silk Board
  • Krishi Vigyan Kendra
  • Silk Export Promotion Council
  • FAO
  • Govt. Research Centers
  • Agriculture Sector Banks
  • Sericulture Units
  • Academic Fields
  • Silk Boards

Q. What is the cost of starting a sericulture business in India?

Ans: Excluding land cost, it ranges around Rs. 2 lakhs to start a sericulture business in India.

Q. What is the status of sericulture in India?

Ans- India is the second-largest producer of silk in the world, the first being China. It enjoys the benefit of government employment and decent subsidies.

Q. Which state is famous for sericulture in India?

Ans- Ramanagara district in Karnataka is famous for sericulture in India. It is the biggest market for silk cocoons in Asia. The production volume of raw silk produced in India in 2017 was 1,000 metric tons.

Q. Which country introduced sericulture in India?

Ans- Sericulture in India had begun around AD 140. Silkworm eggs were smuggled by the Byzantine Empire via Mediterranean countries.

Q. When was Sericulture introduced in India?

Ans- Sericulture in India was introduced in AD 140 by the Byzantine Empire. Silk farming began by the 6th century AD around the world via the smuggling of silkworm eggs.

Q. Where is silk produced in India?

Ans- Silk production in India majorly occurs in Karnataka along with Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Jammu & Kashmir and West Bengal.

Q. Which is the Silk City of India?

Ans- Pochampalle in Telangana is officially named the "Silk City of India". Pochampally ikat is also the first type of silk discovered by the community people of Andhra Pradesh, Bhoodan Pochampally.

Q. Is silkworm farming profitable?

Ans- Silkworm Farming Profit can vary from anywhere between Rs 2 lakh per acre annually. Silkworm cocoons are priced around 400 to 450 Rupees per Kilogram. The government has decided to extend mulberry saplings to farmers at a subsidised amount of Rs 1.50 per sapling.

Q. Is sericulture a good career?

Ans- Career as Sericulturist in India opens a meadow of opportunities for employment in the government and private sector. The career options in the silk business and sericulture farming are never-ending due to the regular production, selling and manufacturing of silk clothes.

Q. What is the commonly used silkworm in silk farming?

Ans: Bombyx mori is the most commonly used silkworm in silk farming.

Q. Why should you cultivate mulberry leaves?

Ans: Bombyx mori only feeds mulberry leaves.

Q. What is the largest produced silk variety in India?

Ans: Mulberry Silk is the largest produced silk variety in India.

Q. Is there any other variety of silk produced in India?

Ans: Yes, they are called Wild or Vanya Silk.

Q. What are the types of Vanya Silkworms?

Ans: Muga, Tasar, and Eri silkworms are the types of Vanya silkworms reared in India.

Q. What is the gestation period?

Ans: The gestation period is six months.

Q. What are the average annual returns for the business?

Ans: On average, a farmer can earn up to Rs. 30,000 per annum for an acre of land.

Q. What is the eligibility to avail NABARD loan to start the business?

Ans: Farmers who cultivate mulberry in their land or leased land with irrigation facilities are eligible to NABARD loan to start a sericulture business.

Q. What is the maximum loan amount that can be availed from NABARD?

Ans: There is no fixed ceiling. It depends upon the approval amount provided by NABARD.