Directorate of Sericulture, Department of Rural Development
Sericulture is an agro-industry comprising of two aspects viz. cocoon production and silk reeling. This agro-industry has important socio-economic implications as it generates employment and income especially in the informal sector, among landless and marginal farmers and women; mitigates poverty and paces down rural to urban migration. The price spread in sericulture favours the farm sector to an extent of 48 per cent.
Silk has only a miniscule percentage of the global textile fibre market (less than 0.2per cent). However this figure can be quite under-estimation, as the actual trading value of silk and silk products is much more impressive. The unit price for raw silk is roughly twenty times that of raw cotton.
Sericulture is a land based and labour intensive activity. It has potential for generation of productive employment on a large scale. Mulberry plantations of one acre along with supporting activities like silkworm rearing, silk reeling and silk weaving can provide direct employment to 6 persons throughout the year. Short gestation, good market and favorable impact on soil and environment are the additional advantage of mulberry sericulture. The silk fabrics are usually purchased by the richer segment. As a result, Sericulture acts as an effective means for transfer of resources from the rich to the poor. Generation of the employment through sericulture in the rural areas can check migration of locals from the rural to urban areas and also the problems associated with rapid urbanization.
Sericulture has a special significance for development of women, as it is one of the best available means of employment in the rural areas. The women can take up sericulture i.e., silkworm rearing, silk reeling and silk weaving inside their own houses which is a boon for women facing social restrictions on going out for work due to prevailing social customs and prejudices. Further the women can take up sericulture, while attending to other household activities like cooking and raising children. Barring mulberry cultivation, other activities as related with sericulture do not require hard physical labour and are therefore suitable for women. By taking up sericulture women can produce marketable cocoon and yarn which gives them direct employment almost throughout the year. Sericulture in brief ensures overall development of women and enables her to play a significant role in the family and society. Given its short gestation period, frequent returns, high profitability, capacity to absorb family labour and industrial linkages; sericulture has vast potential.
Institutional Structure: The Government of Kerala vide GO. (RT) 3413/2014/LSGD dt. 20.12.2014 has constituted a Directorate of Sericulture under Commissionerate of Rural Development and designated the Commissioner for Rural Development as the Director of Sericulture of the state. The Government of Kerala has prescribed an institutional structure for sericulture project implementation in the present LSGD (RD) Department and in the context of Panchayath Raj Institutions (PRI) through Jilla Panchayat /Block Panchayat/Grama Panchayath as detailed below.
Directorate of Sericulture (State level): A Directorate of Sericulture is functioning under CRD with Deputy Director of Sericulture along with a few Assistant Sericulture Officers for technical support. The functions of the Directorate are as follows:
• The directorate will submit proposals to Ministry of Textiles, Government of India/ Central Silk Board.
• Furnish UC
• Convene Project Monitoring Committee (PMC)
• Monitor and supervise State Sericulture activities; Policy decision making.
• Prepare state plan and obtain State share
• Liaison with other departments
• Conduct training programmes
• Provide other support services to the districts, Blocks, Grama Panchayath and ultimately to farmers
• Conduct review meeting and monitor the progress, fund utilisation, subsidy disbursal, convergence initiatives etc.
District sericulture cell:
A District Level Sericulture Cell is constituted; headed by Project Director, Poverty Alleviation Unit.
Assistant Sericulture Officers now placed in the respective Poverty Alleviation Units are the technical personnel in the cell. The ASOs work in the cell and report to the Project Director.
ASOs are assigned independent charges of sericulture clusters in the district.
A committee is constituted at District/Block/ Grama Panchayat level with the full participation of PRI ( Panchayath Raj Institutions)
All the Sericulture activities in the district are co-ordinated by the committee.
District Sericulture Development Committee (DSDC)
District Panchayat President - Chairman
District Collector - Member Secretary
Project Director - Convener
Assistant Sericulture Officer - Joint Convener
Members - All district officers of the departments
Special invitees (limited to 4)
President /Secretaries of Mulberry farmers Society
Scientist form CSB unit
Block Sericulture Development Committee (BSDC)
Chairman - Block Panchayat President
Convener - Block Panchayat Secretary
Joint Convener - One Joint Block Development Officer/GEO
Members - Grama Panchayat President where mulberry production initiated
All Taluk level official of line department
Assistant Sericulture Officer
2 to 3 representatives from farmers ( on rotation basis)
Special invitees from CSB
Representatives from farmers society.
Grama Panchayat Sericulture Development Committee (GPSDC)
Chairman - Grama Panchayath President
Convener - Village Extension Officer
Members - Agricultural /Horticultural officers
10 representatives from farmers on rotation basis
Representatives from farmers society