Introduction to KashmirForum.org Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.
www.kashmirforum.org

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Stagination in Kashmir's Sericulture Sector Means Opportunities Elsewhere

Jammu produces 3 times more cocoons

Kashmir’s monopoly in silk is history

Srinagar: Kashmir’s monopoly in silk production is history as Jammu has surpassed sericulture growth over the last twenty years. Silk production in Kashmir has reached lowest levels while at the same time its production has increased substantially in Jammu.

According to the latest official data available, on an average, Jammu region produces 6 lakh kgs of cocoons per year while as production in Kashmir has plummeted to 2 lakh kilograms. Till late eighties Kashmir dominated all the administrative divisions of the State not only in seed, mulberry and cocoon production but refined silk as well.

According to figures on hand, Kashmir was the major contributor to the State’s silk industry generating nearly two third of the total production; however the political instability accentuated by militancy reversed the trend. Out of a total cocoon production of 10.36 lakh kilograms in 1988, Kashmir produced 6.65 kilograms while as Jammu’ share was only 3.71 kilograms.

Anantnag, Pulwama and Kupwara , the traditional silk bastions of Kashmir lost mulberry trees, farmers and the cocoons as well while as Udhampur, Sundarbani, Kathua and some hilly areas of Jammu ended up as major silk centers of the State.

Some 17000 farmers are currently rearing silk in Jammu division while as only 4000 to 5000 people are associated with silk farming in Kashmir. Nearly 1500 villages are busy in cocoon production in Jammu while as only 700 persons are now associated with it in Kashmir.

The over all production in the State has downed almost by half. In 1960 the State produced 15 lakh kilograms of cocoons which has now receded to 8.32 lakh kilograms.

In 1995 the cocoons produced in the State were at an all time low of 6.50 lakh kilograms with Kashmir producing only 1.19 lakh kilograms. Due to a string of pro farmer measures and administrative gear up the production went up to 8.82 lakh kilograms in 2001.

However, the figure failed to grow further and vacillated around 8.50 lakh kilograms over the period.

Dr A R Trag, a former director sericulture currently heading the research wing of the SK University of Agriculture (Kashmir) said technology needs to be transferred to farmer for improving the production besides providing him financial assistance.

Mohammed Ashraf Khan, director sericulture confirmed stagnation in the sericulture sector over the last many years. We are vigorously following a program of cocoon production in the State and day is not far when the sector will outshine others, he said.

(Rising Kashmir)

1 comment:

Nira said...

Indeed its unfortunate that Kashmir sericulture industry suffered a low downward trend due to circumstances beyond its control. Kashmir is the home to cocoons and silk production. With wonderful climatic conditions plus a peaceful environment, sericulture will hopefully regain its lost place. All the Best to All Involved in this industry