Sericulture is an agro based activity in which rearing of silk worm is done to produce silk. It plays an eminent role in the rural economy of India. Japan, China, India, USSR & South Korea are leading player in sericulture.

  • Country’s silk production has increased from 18300 tonne in 10th FYP to 23000 tonne in 12th FYP even when the area under sericulture has been reduced due to urbanization.
  • Among the developing countries, India enjoys a favorable position due to low cost of labour.

Type of silk Region

  • Mulburry 85% in Karnataka, West Bengal, J&K, Also in A.P., Assam, TN, UP, Himachal, Punjab Tasar MP, Orissa, Bihar.
  • Muga Restricted to Brahmaputra Valley
  • Eri Assam, Bihar

Different type of silks & production region

In India over 3 million people are employed in various fields of sericulture. It is a cottage industry and provides ample work to women in the rural areas. It plays an important role in diversifying the agriculture income and ensuring livelihood security. The industry is now practiced as a main profession and as a major cash crop of the country.

Problems related to development of sericulture industry which need to be tackled.

• Lack of infrastructure

• Lack of skilled labour

• After liberalization of trade under WTO, China dumping cheap silk in India

• Silk industry comes under Textile Ministry and hence can’t be benefited by schemes provided by Agriculture Ministry.

• Market access for primary producer

• Stiff competition from man-made fibre.


Revival of this industry is essential as it will not only affect economy but social sector also. Initiatives have been taken to establish distinct identity of various Indian silk by registering geographical indicators e.g. Kancheepuram silk (Tamil Nadu), Mysore silk (Karnataka).

Recent developments: Recently headquarter of International Sericulture Commission has been shifted to Bangalore from Lyon, France. It is an apex inter-governmental body of 13 leading silk producing countries. India is looking forward to get cutting edge technology from other member countries.


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