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Tamil Nadu’s first automatic silk reeling unit opened

Staff Reporter

30 silk reeling clusters to be set up in the country

— Photo: M. Govarthan

A big step: Union Minister of State for Textiles E.V.K.S. Elangovan (left) along with Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan (second left), State Minister for Rural Industries and Animal Husbandry Pongalur N. Palanisamy (third left) and Chairperson, Central Silk Board, Bangalore, H. Hanumanthappa (right) viewing the machines at the automatic silk reeling unit near Gobichettipalayam on Saturday. This is the first unit in Tamil Nadu and second in India.

GOBICHETTIPALAYAM: Central Silk Board, Bangalore, with assistance from Government of India, will set up 30 silk reeling clusters in the Country to promote silk industry. Participating at the inauguration of Tamil Nadu’s first and India’s second automatic silk reeling unit at Odayagoundanpalayam, near here on Saturday, M. Sathiyavathy, member secretary, Central Silk Board, said four of the 30 clusters would be in Tamil Nadu.

“The Board has identified Udumalpet, Palani, Krishnagiri and Gobichettipalayam for setting up the clusters."

The clusters will be set up under the Eleventh Five Year Plan. She said the establishment of such clusters will help meet the country’s shortfall in white silk.

“The country requires about 26,000 tonnes of white silk a year. The production, however, is 7,000 tonnes short of the demand. The aim is to achieve self reliance in white silk production," Ms. Sathiyavathy said.

She added that under the cluster, chaki rearing centres to hatch eggs, seri clinics and other infrastructure would be provided.

The Board set up the first silk reeling unit a few months ago near Hyderabad. Tamil Nadu will have another automatic reeling unit near Udumalpet soon.

H. Hanumanthappa, chairperson, Central Silk Board, said out of the world silk production of 1,53,942 tonnes, India produced only 18,475 tonnes.

He added that Tamil Nadu played an important role in silk production in the country. “The State produces 1,368 tonnes of silk a year. It has 14,047 hectares under mulberry and produces 9,676 tonnes of cocoons a year and hence rank fourth in the country."

State Minister for Rural Industries and Animal Husbandry Pongalur N. Palanisamy said the present Government had increased acreage under mulberry to 1,30,000 acres from 10,000 about five years ago.

The Government has also given Rs. 11.5 crore in subsidy to the silk industry.

Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan urged mulberry farmers to go in for drip irrigation to maximise yield.

Union Minister of State for Textiles E.V.K.S. Elangovan said sericulture farmers should produce more cocoons, so that the Country did not spend its foreign exchange to import silk from China.

State Minister for Highways and Ports M. P. Saminathan, MLAs Jeeva O. Subramaniam, N.K.K.P. Raja, R. M. Palanichamy, S.S. Gurusamy, State Government officers Harmander Singh, commissioner of sericulture, Government of Tamil Nadu, Vishwanath Shegaonkar, secretary, Department of Handlooms and Textiles, and Collector, Erode, Mahesan Kasirajan participated.

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