Boosting local yarn production can revitalize silk sector

BSS, Rajshahi :
Boosting production of local yarn can help revitalizing the silk sector to regain its lost legacy, said the sericulture and silk related experts and professional.
They viewed that the local consumption could be met up through domestic outputs after the best uses of the existing natural resources and there is no doubt in this regard.
Talking to BSS here today Alhaz Sadar Ali, pioneer silk industry owner in Rajshahi, stated that the glorious sector has been facing an embarrassing position at present due to abnormal price hike of imported China silk yarn and abnormal declining of its local production.
He highlighted various aspects of the silk sector and its contribution to the national and local economy.
Importance should be given on how to boost up the grassroots yarn production through proper utilizing the existing natural and other infrastructural resources side by side with minimizing the existing obstacles.
Silk industrialist Liakat Ali said the price of China silk was Taka 2,250 per kilogram couple of years ago but the current price has gone up at least three to four times more at present and that is beyond capacity of many of the silk manufacturers.
Not only that, he apprehended that the price will go up further. By itself, China is manufacturing cloth through stopping silk yarn export, he added.
In this adverse situation, Liakat Ali revealed that there is no alternative to enhance local production to protect the dignified sector from degradation.
He recalled that the local production had been devastated after 1991 when the businessmen and non-businessmen had started importing silk taking advantages of the free market policy.
In this regard, he mentioned that over 1,200 tonnes of silk yarns were imported while the local demand was hardly 350 tonnes per year at that time the professional cocoon farmers are being forced to leave their ancestral profession being deprived of getting price of their produced yarn.
Liakat Ali opined that the sector needs an urgent initiative to retain the skilled labourers especially realers, weavers and printers in the profession to protect the sector as a whole.
Meanwhile, Director General of Bangladesh Sericulture Development Board Swapan Kumar Paul said the country produces around 35-40 metric tons of yarns against the annual demand of around 300 tonnes at present.
He said the demand of local yarn has started rising due to price hike of imported silk and expected that the cocoon rearers would become interested to enhance their production if they get reasonable price of their produce.
“We have no alternative to regain the sector to protect its around six lakh people from degradation,” Swapan Paul said.
He added that importance should be given on providing necessary support and inputs like disinfectant eggs, high yielding mulberry plants, technical support and soft loan for construction of rearing house along with ensuring sound marketing facilities to the rearers.
Apart from this, he said sericulture, a labor-intensive agro-based industry, is ideally suited to the socio-economic condition of the country and the sector cover both agriculture and industry.
Referring to various positive aspects of the sector he also said promotion and expansion of sericulture throughout the country could contribute a lot to eradicate acute poverty of the hardcore people of the rural Bangladesh.
As a cottage industry, all family members can work and earn supplementary income in sericulture and it facilitate four to five crops in a year and ensure more income requiring less investment and training.
Not only this, mulberry, the only food plant of silkworm can be raised in any cultivable and non-cultivable land ensures leaf supply for about 30 to 35 years.
Apart from cocoon production, fuel, manure, poultry feed and fodder can be made available through sericulture activity, he added.
He hoped that all these prospects could be materialized if the private entrepreneurs are come forward towards helping the poor and marginal farmers for their betterment.

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