Silk farmer in Palakkad invents affordable method to preserve cocoons during lockdown
Silk farmers in Kerala are going through a tough time ever since the cocoon markets in Karnataka were closed as part of COVID-19 prevention. As the farmers do not have proper facilities to preserve the cocoons, they face huge losses. But Kashiviswanathan, a silk farmer hailing from Muthalamthodu in Palakkad, has invented a method to preserve cocoons in the most affordable way.
Kashiviswanathan arranged the facility to preserve cocoons at his house itself. First, the pupa inside the cocoon should be destroyed by exposing it to steam for 30 minutes. Then dry the cocoons after covering it with black cloth in order to prevent direct sunlight.
After drying the cocoons for two days, fill it in jute sacks ensuring air circulation. Make sure ants and other insects do not enter the sack. The cocoons preserved like this will have a shelf life of three months. When the current situation changes and markets reopen, the farmers can easily sell them as usual, said Kashiviswanathan.
Meanwhile, silk farmers are relieved as the central government has announced minimum support price for cocoons, said Suresh Puthanveettil, a mulberry farmer.