Berhampur, July 23 (LocalWire): At a time when thousands of people who returned from their workplaces to Ganjam due to the coronavirus pandemic are desperately searching for a means to maintain their livelihood, a lecturer has suggested taking up a massive sericulture project in the district.
The agro-based industry will not only help the farmers to eke out a livelihood, but also help traditional weavers who weave the famous Berhampuri Patta and other silk sarees to procure the silk yarn from the local farmers, said Usha Rani Brahma, a lecturer of Zoology in Ram Narayan College Dura here.
Brahma has conducted research on sericulture in Ganjam district for the past several years.
Presently, the traditional weavers procure the silk yarn from Malda in West Bengal and Bangalore, to weave the patta.
Berhampur Silk Saree has been accorded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for its unique pattern of weave.
Sericulture will suit rural-based farmers, entrepreneurs, and artisans and require low investment, she said.
The project will favour more women in rural areas because of their industrious nature and the assistance they can provide to their male counterparts, she said.
They will be employed in a mulberry garden or silkworm rearing or in a grainage, she added.
In the post cocoon technology, the involvement of women is greater, commencing from silk reeling and weaving to the garment manufacturing industry, she added.
“Sericulture can generate employment for up to 11 persons for every kg of raw silk produce.
In general, women in the house, while attending to household activities, can also look after silkworm rearing activities like leaf chopping, bed cleaning, feeding the silkworms, maintenance of hygiene, picking the ripe worms,” said Bramha.
Brahma has experimented with sericulture in her own garden at Kanishi and produced silk yarn.
“When I showed the yarn to some of the weavers, they could not believe it was produced by me in my garden,” she added.
“The climatic conditions in the district are very suitable for sericulture.
It’s high time the government took up the project in a massive manner,” she added.