UP to purchase cocoon from J

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Srinagar, May 25 (UNI) The Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has decided to purchase cocoon from Jammu and Kashmir, where under centrally sponsored Scheme (CSS), the proposed allocation for the different schemes of sericulture department would be Rs 2.35 crore for the current fiscal.

An official spokesman said here today that UP Textile minister Jagdesh Singh Rai has expressed willingness to provide marketing facilities for cocoon by way of purchasing cocoon from Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Rai, during his meeting with Minister for Agriculture and Sericulture Abdul Aziz Zargar, described the cocoon of the state 'best quality' in the country.

The official said Mr Rai was of the view to adopt a mechanism in North-Western states so that price level of the cocoon is maintained round the seasons.

He also called for besides providing marketing support to the farmers at the time of distress sales, happening due to availability of low price Chinese silk in the market.

Mr Zargar asked the UP Minister to send a team of officers to discuss the issue in detail and frame the modality of the deal.

However, he said the matter needs to be discussed with central government also, apart from taking it with the parliamentary team visiting the state soon.

He said interests of small and marginal farmers would be taken care off at every level while adopting unified price strategy in North-Western states Sericulture sector has a vast employment generating potential and need of the hour is to launch mass awareness campaign in order to motivate the youth to set up cocoon rearing units at large scale, Mr Mizargar said.

The official said giving the detail of achievements of the department, Director Sericulture, Mohammad Ashraf Khan said the production of the cocoon has reached 800 MTs generating Rs five crore income to the farmers.

Twenty two lakh lakh mulberry trees were planted by in the state, besides 24,700 onus cocoon seed were distributed among the farmers, he added.

He said apart from providing CGI sheets worth Rs one crore among 600 cocoon rearing farmers, the department provided one thousand rearing kits among one thousand farmers worth Rs 75 lakhs during 2007-2008.

The department has also the target of planting 22 lakh mulberry trees during 2008-2009.

Mr Khan said for providing market support to the farmers at the rate of Rs 10 per kg, a proposal of Rs 80 lakh has been sent to the Union Government for approval.

A hot air drier is coming up at Udhampur at a cost of Rs 52 lakhs and would be completed soon.

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