Unable to procure silkworms, farmer destroys 2-acre mulberry farm
Palakkad: Silk farmers are in crisis as the government did not provide them any help for bringing silkworms or offer support price for cocoons. The farmers have no option but destroy all mulberry saplings planted for silk farming accepting huge loss, said Vandithavalam native K V Radhakrishnan, a mulberry farmer.
Radhakrishnan has been making a living through silk farming (Sericulture) for many years. He started growing saplings on a 2-acre plot six months ago. It takes six months to grow 100 worms and make cocoons and this costs Rs 20,000.
When 100 worms are grown, they produce 80 kilograms of cocoons. The farmer can earn upto Rs 700 per kilogram. But the price dropped to Rs 300 now and the sales are also affected.
The major issue faced by the farmers is that Kerala is not a good market for cocoons. Normally, silkworms are brought from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. As the borders were closed due to lockdown, they could not bring silkworms.
Though the state government offered help for mulberry farmers, they did not get the assistance as they are dependent on other states. Radhakrishnan had spent about Rs 2 lakh for making the trellis and other expenses to start farming.