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India to become Aatmanirbhar in silk production in 2 years: Smriti Irani

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Union minister Smriti Irani on Sunday expressed confidence that India will become self-reliant or Aatmanirbhar in silk production in the next two years. The Minister for Textiles and Women and Child Development said the government aims to provide employment to over one crore people exclusively in the silk segment through the Krishi Vigyan Kendra programme.

She said that India’s raw silk production increased 35 per cent in the last six years.

Six years ago, 70 lakh people in India were employed in this sector whereas 90 lakh people are currently employed in the segment, she said.

The minister was addressing a programme to announce an MoU between the Textiles Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry, an official statement said.

In a tweet, Irani said the “@[email protected] MOU will focus on establishing tree based agro-forestry models in sericulture & exploring possibilities of activities through Krishi Vigyan Kendras(KVKs). This will enhance training, boost technology & create sustainable livelihood for silk farmers/rearers”.

On the eve of International Women’s Day, the minister also distributed Buniyaad Reeling Machines to women silk reelers with an aim to eradicate unhygienic and obsolete thigh reeling practice.

The Central Silk Board (CSB) under the Ministry of Textiles and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a convergence model for implementation of Agro-forestry in the silk sector under the ongoing Sub-Mission on Agroforestry (SMAF) Scheme, in the presence of Irani and Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala here.

Irani said that 8,000 women thigh reelers were identified for providing Buniyaad machines and 5,000 women have already been supported under Silk Samagra Phase I. She said that for remaining 3,000 thigh reelers, fund provision has been made in order to eradicate Unhygienic and Obsolete Thigh Reeling Practice from the country.

The minister further stated that this MoU signing will increase the agricultural income from 20 to 30 per cent.

Referring to the PPE kits, in which India has become the second largest producer in the world, she said that India has the capability of creating history in Agro-Technical Textiles also. She said farmers income has almost increased to 60 per cent by adopting Agro Technical Textile.

Irani observed that consumption of agriculture based technical textile will increase by involving Krishi Vigyan Kendra in creating awareness about Agro-tech and Technical textiles. She said this will lead the way for creation of new products.

Speaking on the occasion, Rupala said that the MOU signing will not only increase the income and production of farmers but will also remove the difficulties faced by them. He suggested to link the farmers dealing in silk production with Farmers Produce Organisations (FPO) for increasing their earning.

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