Scenario of sericulture industry in Maharashtra State, India
Hiware Chandrashekhar Jalba
Sericulture is one of the oldest industries in India and Asia. Sericulture is an agro-cottage, forest based industry, labor intensive and commercially attractive economic activity falling under the cottage and small-scale sector. The silk is the final product of this industry. It particularly suits to rural population working with agriculture, entrepreneurs and artisans as it requires low investment with potential for relatively higher returns. It provides income and employment to the rural poor especially, farmers with small land-holding and marginalized and weaker sections of the society. rnMaharashtra is a nontraditional sericulture state producing Mulberry and Tasar silk. The specialty of the state is that, it undertakes 98% of bivoltine sericulture and stood first among nontraditional states and one of the potential States in India for silk production. The bivoltine sericulture development has been one of the priority sectors of Indian silk industry but its production is yet to meet the targets. Women play a dominant role in this sector, as the activities are mostly home-based. Women have been contributing to all the sectors of Sericulture starting from on-farm activities to fabric production, marketing and consumption. The involvement of women in different activities of Sericulture is well above 53 per cent Gangopadhyay, 2008 .
This paper mainly focused on socio- economic development, employment generation, and sericulture sector activities in the state. Sericulture industry requires low investment and it helps to earn higher returns in short gestation period, due to this the farmers are getting attracted to this sector and it is a best tool to improve the rural economy as well as to improve their living standards. It is a boon to the rural population associated with agriculture and helping them to avoid suicidal attempts by earning very good amounts throughout the year.