Mulberry silk contribute 80% of total production
Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the three states
together produce 80% of India’s Mulberry silk. Of which
Karnataka has been the biggest producer of mulberry silk. As
silkworms feed solely on mulberry leaves, mulberry acreage is
widely used to assess growth in sericulture. The state’s overall
share in India’s mulberry acreage has declined to 39 % last year
from 49% five years ago.
In fact, Karnataka as a silk producer is seeing a constant
decline in mulberry acreage. In 2012-13, it fell 18.9% to 74,128
hectares, compared with 91,434 hectares in 2007-08. In
Karnataka, the fall in mulberry acreage according to a report by
the Comptroller and Auditor General was due to fact that between
2007-08 and 2012-13, plants were deracinated across 55,694
hectares, more than the area added during this period. Also, the
area added was only 38,388 hectares, against the target of
The decline in mulberry acreage has hit raw silk production
in the state. In 2012-13, production stood at 7,063 tonnes, 2.4%
lower than 7,238 tonnes in 2008-09. Compared to the production
of 7,796 tonnes in 2011-12, the decline was 9.4%.
Between 2007-08 and 2012-13, production of raw silk ranged
between 89.65 and 117.04 kg a hectare, a year. The lowest
productivity was reported during 2009-10, despite the mulberry
acreage being the highest at that time. The state sericulture
department attributed the low productivity in 2009-10 to drought
conditions. The low productivity in 2011-12 and 2012-13 was
attributed to shortage of technical staff.
On the other hand, Andhra Pradesh has increased its
production from 19% to 22%. According to the Central Silk Board
(CSB), this was attributed to scrupulous implementation of
improved packages for mulberry cultivation. In 2012-13, India’s
overall mulberry silk production rose 2.42% to 18,715 tonnes
from 18,272 tonnes in 2011-12.