MoT Announces Rejuvenation of Silk Industry of Bhagalpur

The Bhagalpur of Bihar is famous worldwide for its distinctive type of tasar silk and coarse varieties of silk fabrics. But the silk handloom weavers of Bhagalpur are facing stiff competition from power loom and mill sector due to high input cost, low productivity and availability of cheaper imported silk fabric etc. sluggish export market and capturing of export market by other major silk producing countries like china in the recent past has also affected Bhagalpur silk industry.To protect and promote the Sericulture industry in Bhagalpur, the Government through Central Silk Board has taken following remedial measures mainly for development of tasar silk :

Basic Seed Multiplication & Training Centre (BSM&TC) for production and supply of superior quality basic tasar seeds to the State Government units, for further multiplication and supply of silkworm seeds to the tasar reares.

  1. Demonstration-Cum-Technical Service Centre (DCTSC) for showcasing improved technologies to reelers & weavers & to provide required training to the beneficiaries.
  2. Sub-Unit of Tasar Raw Material Bank (TRMB) for providing local market support for the producers of tasar cocoons by giving a remunerative price for their produce.

The Government of India through Central Silk Board is also implementing Catalytic Development Programme (CDP) in coordination with the Govt. of Bihar, to provide support for development of host plantation, construction of Rearing houses/CRCs/Cocoon storage houses, assistance to Tasar Seed production, support for state Department for strengthening of Eri Farm-cum-Grainages, rearing appliances, establishment of improved cottage basin reeling units, support for hot air driers etc. Under Quality Certification System (QCS) scheme, the Silk Mark Organisation of India (SMOI) organises structured and well planned Silk Mark Expos in various cities across the country regularly and provides a platform to weavers, traders and exporters to showcase and sell their silk products including sarees. Weavers and Exporters from Bhagalpur region also participate in these expos in a big way and get benefited.

For holistic and sustainable development of handloom sector including weavers of Bhagalpur, the Ministry of Textiles, through various schemes and programmes, facilitates marketing of handloom products, infrastructure development, brand building, training and skill upgradation, infusion of new and contemporary designs through design intervention as well as product diversification, technology upgradation, easy access to raw material at subsidized prices and easy credit flow at low interest rate etc. besides providing welfare schemes like better health care & life insurance.

bhagalpur
Bhagalpur is famous for its tussar silk and supplies the product to export houses in Kolkata, Delhi and Varanasi that export it to West Asia, Europe, Japan and the US.The Rs 1000 crore industry in the district produces two million metres of silk a year. It employs around 100,000 people-who are engaged in spinning the yarn to weave into cloth. Mounting odds-such as lack of credit, power shortage and rise in competition from other silk-producing centres in the country-have put silk manufacturers of Bihar’s Bhagalpur on the brink.The industry is also unorganized with weavers taking credit from the market at 5% interest per month. With payments getting delayed they face a tough time. Over period of time, they have become one of the poorest communities in Bhagalpur. According to Ravi Chandra – Managing Trustee & Co Founder of Bihar Development Trust, Patna – the solution is promoting weavers organisation and building capacity among them to manage finances and share profits. Ravi – a dentist turned rural management professional turned social entrepreneur working for development of Bihar through its focus on livelihood & environment over last five years – is currently implementing livelihood programmes for weavers including bamboo based activities. BDT has taken a value chain approach and is providing services in all primary activities like inbound logistics (aggregating raw material like yarns of various kinds ), operations (production and processing like dyeing, calendaring), outbound logistics (aggregating products,packaging, transporting products like fabrics etc), marketing & sales (linking to buyers ). BDT is promoting weavers-owned institutions by marketing linkages from BDT.

One big handloom cluster, covering 5000 looms and 5 small clusters, covering 300-500 looms, have been sanctioned for Bhagalpur weavers. One Mega Handloom Cluster has also been approved in the budget of 2014-15 for Bhagalpur. Further, Government has setup one Weavers Service Centre at Bhagalpur for providing various services such as skill upgradation, design and product development etc.

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