The Union Textile Ministry said the Centre has accorded highest priority to develop the silk sector in the North-east as a viable option of livelihood in the region.
Ajay Tamta, Union Textile Minister of State, said this while speaking at the three-day 8th International Conference on Wild Silk moths in Guwahati.
The north-eastern part of the country makes up for about 21 per cent of the silk production in the country.
The conference was organized by the International Society for Wild Silk Moths, Japan and the Central Silk Board.
Tamta said since the North-east is the only region where all four varieties of silk – muga, eri, tasar and mulberry are found, the Centre is very keen on developing the production of these silks and make the North-east an emerging market for silk trade.
Known for its golden colour, the muga silk is found only in the North-east. The geographical tag indication (GI) for muga is also owned by Assam.
The conference has been organized in this region so as to properly highlight the importance of the silk sector in the region. The international conference hosted delegates from about 15 countries.
“The Centre will put forward all its resources to improve silk production in the North-east so that it becomes a sustainable source of earning their livelihood for the people in the region,” Tamta added.
Nearly 3.1 lakh families in Assam are involved in some way or another in the silk sector. A 60,000 acre-area is involved in the production of silk and plantations of plants for the silkworms.
Though Assam is the third largest silk producing state in the country, the potentiality of wild silk or vanya silk is yet to be tapped, informed Anant Kumar, the secretary of the Textile Ministry.
The Centre has sanctioned about close to 24 projects in the silk sector in the past few years, worth Rs 809 crore for the north-eastern region.