Absence of price policy for silk cocoons hurts sericulturists

     Sericulturists in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur district are hit hard, as the government is unable to provide adequate price for silk cocoons and proper infrastructure to them. Besides, saplings of Mulberry trees, on which the silk worms are grown, have not been planted. "We do not get good returns for the raw silk that we produce. We are not able to feed our children due to lack of funds. The silk is sold at such high rates throughout the country, but over here we are not getting adequate returns for our efforts," said Jeet Bandhan, a Seri culturist. Cheap Chinese silk, readily available in the Indian markets, is giving a stiff competition to silk farmers. "Since, the silk cocoon's price has not been fixed by the government, the silk traders fix their own prices. So, if the traders give a good amount for the cocoon, we give good returns to the silk farmers but if they don't, then the culturists are forced to sell their products at a low rate," said R B Rai, Invigilator, Silk department, Gorakhpur. The sericulturists hope that the government will take notice of their grim situation and act to improve the sericulture business in the region.

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