Karnataka is one of the leading States where sericulture is practiced. The districts of Dharwad and Tumkur are the most popular silk producing regions as they have the perfect sub humid to dry semi arid climate. Here sericulture involves two steps. The first one is the cultivation of mulberry gardens, as mulberry leaves are the only form of food for silkworms. The second is the construction of a shed to ensure specific climatic conditions of humidity between 70 to 80 per cent and a temperature of 27 degrees Celsius. The process from egg to cocoon takes around a month. Nursery raising, rainwater harvesting, incubation, black boxing, biomass trench system and vermin composting play a big part in the rearing of silk worms in Karnataka.
Karnataka is home to the Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute, which is located in the city of Mysore. This body is the pioneer research institute in the field of sericulture. It is responsible for developing new technologies, conducting research, training personnel and testing silk machinery. The Central Silk Board is also located in the State of Karnataka.
Karnataka has well established Multivoltine and Bivoltine Seed areas. They cater to the demand of parental seed cocoons required for the production of cross breed and bivoltine hybrid layings. Almost 88% of Karnataka sericulture is spread in southern part of Karnataka, which is fast modernizing. Factors like urbanization, industrialization, depleting water table, scarcity of agriculture labour have affected sericulture in this part.
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