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India to be self-reliant in silk by 2020: CSB

India is looking to be self-reliant in raw silk and plans to bring down imports to zero level by 2020. K M Hanumantharayappa, Chairman, Central Silk Board (CSB) says with consistent supply of raw silk of high quality in adequate quantities and increased production of bivoltine silk, India will be able to attain self-sufficiency in silk.

To achieve this objective, CSB has been making concerted efforts and is developing new technologies for quality cocoon production and its conversion into silk yarn of global standards. Currently, the silk production is around 28,000 tons of which 10,000 tons account for crossbreed Mulberry variety.

Hanumantharayappa further said that there is a gap between silk production and demand. Besides shortage of skilled manpower is forcing imports. To bring this to an end, the Central Silk Technological Research Institute (CSTRI) under funding from the board has developed indigenous Automatic Reeling Machine (ARM) and it will be supplied to reelers from next year.

The Board is launching its second Centre of Excellence (CoE) at its headquarters in Bengaluru which is expected to be inaugurated by Union textile minister Smriti Irani. Managed by the CSTRI, the CoE will conduct specialised skill training and advanced short-term and long-term courses in silk reeling, spinning, twisting, weaving, processing, finishing and computer-aided design development and colour matching, besides packaging.