Siddipet: Finance Minister T Harish Rao said that the increase in sericulture cultivation would save India’s foreign exchange since the country has been largely dependent on imports from China for raw silk.

Addressing the sericulture farmers during the ‘Sericulture Farmers Meet’ in Siddipet on Friday, the Minister said that State government has put great efforts to increase the cultivation of sericulture from 4,000 acres to 11,000 acres during the past five years. Saying that there was a serious need to increase the Mulberry cultivation further in the coming years, Rao attributed the increase in cultivation for increasing the subsidy from Rs 25 to Rs 75.

Harish said that the increase in sericulture was also environmental friendly. Stating that a Mulberry tree sustains for 15 years, Rao said that the farmers were earning Rs 5 lakh by growing Mulberry in 3 acres. He further said that sericulture farmers were earning a better income than what some entry-level software engineers were earning. Rao said that there was a further need to increase the Mulberry cultivation to 30,000 acres. Comparing the area under cultivation, Rao said that Mulberry was being cultivated in just 11,000 acres in Telangana while the neighbouring Karnataka State was cultivating in 2 lakh acres. Saying that the one kg of raw silk price is expected to increase to Rs 500, 

Rao observed that the Mulberry cultivation would become more lucrative in the days to come. Several farmers, who were reaping rich benefits with Mulberry cultivation, have narrated their success stories during the meet. Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy also attended the meet.

Elaborating various initiates taken by the State government for the benefit of farming fraternity, Harish Rao said that it was time for farmers to earn profits in agriculture and allied sectors since the government has put all-out efforts to make the farming profitable in the State. Saying that the farmers had been neglected by the past governments, the Minister said that the visionary Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao made 30 to 35 per cent of budget allocations for agri and allied sectors. Rao said that the government has introduced Rythu Bandu, undertook Mission Kakatia project with an objective to restore the tanks, free round the clock electricity, and they were also completing Kaleshwaram Project, Sitarama Project to provide irrigation water.

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