Tripura's silk industry gets a facelift
The Government of Tripura is making all possible efforts to increase silk production through adaptation of modern techniques. Recently, the state's first power loom silk unit for inaugurated by Tripura's Industries and Commerce Minister Jitendra Chowdhury.
Eight automatic machines brought from Karnataka have been installed in the unit which will produce over 500 silk sarees per month.
It will give a fillip to the growth of silk industry in the state and will benefit more than 9,000 people associated with sericulture, mostly tribal women.
Earlier, we used to work on handlooms and collect raw material from tribal women engaged in sericulture and cocoon production. Now cocoons will be turned into yarn at the factory itself. Earlier everything was done on handlooms but now power looms will be used thus reducing our workload. We are hopeful of earning 4000 to 5000 rupees per month," said Dilip Debnath, a powerloom silk weaver.
The state government plans to increase the total area under mulberry cultivation from 1,821 hectares to 4,000 hectares. This will increase raw silk production from present 31 MT to 100 MT by 2015.
"We believe that the price of cocoons will increase with the usage of power looms. At present, the price is 230 per kg and it will be beneficial if it goes up to 300 to 350 Rs. around 1000 women in our area are engaged, along with me, in this work," said Promila Rupini, a sericulture farmer.
"With this, the women can earn even at their homes and we feel empowered as we are not solely dependent on our husbands' income. We have been traditionally engaged in sericulture and cocoon rearing and the government has helped us a lot. We are able to produce 160 kg cocoon every month and this has benefited our families," said Kitin Debbarma, a cocoon producer.
Over the years the government has introduced several schemes and programmes to strengthen farming and boost the handicraft industry in the region.