Kerala is a relatively new entrant into sericulture field.
Kerala is located on the south western tip of India. It has the states Tamil Nadu and Karnataka as its neighbours. The erstwhile Travancore (the State of Kerala was formed in the year 1956 on linguistic basis) was renamed as Kerala after unifying Cochin and a portion of Malabar. There are several pilgrim centres of all major religions such as Hindu, Christian and Muslim. Similarly, Kerala is popularly known as ‘God’s own country’ because of its unique nature of natural beauty and agro climatic conditions. The people are highly literate and are known for their intelligence and industriousness across the world. The Kerala model development concept is also widely acclaimed all over the world because of its peculiar economic importance especially in health and education sector. The State of Kerala has already been proved that a society with high literacy, high value of civic culture with low per-capita income can attain economic development through optimum utilisation of its resources such as land, men and natural blessings.Agriculture plays a crucial role in the Kerala economy. When compared to other States, the per-capita availability of cultivable land is low in Kerala. Stabilisation and augmentation of productivity assume critical importance, given the limited scope for increasing area under cultivation of various crops. Increase in production would be possible mainly from improvements in productivity through the use of location specific technology and modernisation of agriculture. An integrated mixed cropping pattern is practiced in the State by majority of the farmers considering the land holding size.
Sericulture is an agro-industry covering four tier process viz. (i) mulberry cultivation and leaf production (ii) silkworm rearing and cocoon production (iii) cocoon processing and silk yarn production and (iv) silk yarn processing, weaving, fabric manufacture and its marketing. The first two tiers are integrated with agriculture and the latter two tiers are part of industry. The following characteristics are also important -
- Short gestation period
- Quick and high returns
- Easy technology
- Increasing demands for products
- High employment generation potential
- Money flow from rich to poor
- Role of women and weaker sections of the society
Kerala is a relatively new entrant into sericulture field. However the state has made considerable advancements in sericulture especially bivoltine sericulture. Kerala is one of the few states in India where bivoltine sericulture is practiced to the tune of 100%. The national level bivoltine technlogy adoption is just 5% in spite of intensive promotional efforts.
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