Sericulture

Sericulture is an agro industry (combining both agriculture and industry), the end product of which is silk. It is a labour intensive activity providing direct and indirect employment to a large number of families. India has the unique distinction of producing all the four varieties of silk viz. mulberry, muga, tasar and eri.  About 14% of the global raw silk is produced in India, of which more than 50% is mulberry silk.

Mulberry silkworms can be categorized as: univoltine ('uni'=one, 'voltine'=brood frequency), bivoltine and polyvoltine. Univoltine type is found in Europe and breed once a year, Bivoltine is found in Asian regions and breed twice a year and the Polyvoltine are found in the tropics and can breed upto 8 times a year. Endowed with favourable conditions for mulberry growth and silkworm rearing, Sericulture has now assumed a great importance as a premier village & cottage industry among the agrarian community in the state. Himachal Pradesh is predominantly a bivoltine silk producing area and is famous countrywide for the quality of bivoltine silk cocoons it produces. This has been possible because of the suitable climate in the state for production of quality bivoltine silk cocoons. Sericulture cottage industry has an eco-friendly character as it favors environmental conservation, makes use of locally available resources and also has high employment generation potential. Sericulture generates 7 lakh mandays employment for the rural people of the state, annually, and is concentrated in the Bilaspur, Mandi, Hamirpur, Kangra, Una and Sirmour Districts of Himachal Pradesh. Through this program, volunteers will get an opportunity to see Sericulture units and understand the process of silk production.