Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Wednesday inaugurated state’s second silk seed production centre in Thunag in his home Seraj assembly constituency in Mandi district to strengthen the sericulture economy.
Addressing a gathering, the Chief Minister said 12,000 farmers of the state are involved in sericulture. “To meet the requirement of 7,500 ounces of silk for the state, 2,500 ounces are being produced by state’s first Silk Seed Production Centre in Palampur and the remaining would now be met by this (Thunag) centre.”
He said the upcoming Silk Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation Centre at Bali Chowki with an outlay of Rs 4.94 crore would be completed soon, the first centre in northern India.
He said the construction work of five government silk centres is near completion with the cost of Rs 2.5 crore in the Seraj Valley. He said Rs 1.5 lakh per farmer would be provided to 200 farmers belonging to the Scheduled Caste for construction of silkworm rearing house. Besides, Rs 80 lakh has been provided to 200 farmers for purchasing silkworm rearing equipment and Rs 28 lakh is being provided for mulberry plantation to 200 farmers.
Also, Rs 50 lakh has been provided to 700 farmers of general category for mulberry plantation and purchase of silkworm rearing material. These activities would give boost to the silk industry in the state, besides generating self-employment opportunities.
Speaking at another function, the Chief Minister said the Seraj Youth Sports and Cultural Festival provided a platform to 14,000 rural youth with participation of 1,390 teams belonging to the Seraj Valley.
He said such events encourage sportsmanship and promoting traditional sports.