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An Overview of Promotion of large scale taser sericulture baed livelihood under MKSP


Tasar sericulture involves all the activities pertaining to rearing of Tasar silkworm (Antheraea mylitta Drury), harvesting of Tasar cocoons, production of Tasar silk yarn from cocoons and weaving of Tasar yarn into fabric.

The major producers in the sector include Silkworm rearers, yarn producers and weavers. India is the second largest producer of Tasar silk in the World after China. In India, Tasar silkworm is reared on host trees like Asan, Arjun and Sal, available abundantly in the estimated 14.5 million hectares of tropical forests in the states of Jharkhand, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Tasar rearing is carried out in the outdoors, mainly in the forest areas. Tasar silkworm rearers are forest dwellers, often tribals and the income from Tasar significantly contributes towards their livelihoods. Tasar weavers are traditional handloom weavers mostly living in the hinterlands of silk trade centres. An estimated 1.5 lakh families are currently involved in Tasar sericulture. The market demand for Tasar has been increasing at an annual compounded rate of over 12%.

There is vast scope to enhance livelihood security and reduce poverty in the proposed districts through systematic promotion of Tasar sericulture by way of adoption of recommended technologies and facilitating market led growth processes. In the tribal areas with limited employment avenues, Tasar sericulture can offer significant income opportunities through utilization of slack labour and idle assets like fallow uplands.

In its production process, tasar sericulture makes a long chain of inter-dependent activities like raising and maintenance of food plants in the uplands, silkworm seed production, silkworm rearing and cocoon production, silk reeling, spinning, grading, marketing etc.

For smooth functioning of the production chain, various operations require human skill, input support, technological intervention, technical assistance and most importantly easy availability of finance, besides a sound extension back up. Some of the critical areas of intervention for enhancing the quality and productivity of the activities in Tasar culture are-

  • Raising and maintenance of block plantation of host plants of Tasar silkworms in private and government waste lands,
  • Soil and water conservation practices and integrated nutrient management,
  • Adoption of chawkie garden concept,
  • Augmenting Tasar seed supply through participation of local entrepreneurs,
  • Creation of marketing avenues for Tasar cocoons and silk,
  • Timely input support and credit facilities.


Background of the proposed projects for Tasar sericulture promotion:

While PRADAN has been promoting Tasar sericulture based livelihoods among marginalized communities for over two decades, in the past 10 years, the Central Silk Board, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India, the Apex organization for promotion of sericulture in the country and PRADAN, have been collaborating to transfer improved technologies, establish linkages and built sustainable people’s collectives in Tasar sub-sector to benefit over 15,000 rural households. These efforts were supported initially through a pilot project under UNDP and subsequently up-scaled through Special SGSY Projects with assistance from MoRD in Jharkhand and Bihar. In recent years, NABARD and the office of the Tribal Welfare Commissioner, Govt. of Jharkhand has also contributed to fuel the growth of the activities.

The above initiatives have amply demonstrated the livelihood potential of Tasar sericulture especially for Tribal communities. The demand for accessing Tasar based livelihoods is now clearly perceptible in the rural areas. Building on this current context, the Central Silk Board and PRADAN have come up with the idea of undertaking multi-state ventures to reach out to a large number of rural households and create impact on a significant scale both in terms of livelihood creation at the family level and unleashing sectoral growth in Tasar sericulture. This idea was discussed with the Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India on 21st November 2011 followed by series of discussions on the issue. The MoRD has agreed for the proposal of the CSB to formulate projects that may be considered for financing under the Mahila Kisan Sasatikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) as a logical extension of the early phases of intervention.

Accordingly, CSB formulated seven Projects for tasar development for the States of Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Chattisgarh in coordination with PRADAN, for Andhra Pradesh in coordination with Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) and also for Maharashtra in coordination with BAIF, Pune. These projects were submitted by the Central Silk Board to the MoRD on 9th May 2012. The details of the projects are as follows:


Proposed Project Area:
State Project Districts Project Beneficiaries
Tasar- Direct Tasar- Total Grand Total
Jharkhand Godda, Dumka, Pakur,  East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum, Saraikela Kharswan and Deogarh 6567 8209 11438
Bihar Banka 1838 2298 3170
West Bengal Bankura, Paschim Medinipur 1508 1885 2632
Orissa Keonjhar 1525 1907 2654
Chhattisgarh Raigarh, Dhamtari, Kanker, Bastar, Bilaspur and Sarguja 2343 3379 4505
Andhra Pradesh Adilabad, Khammam, Warangal and East Godavari 3407 4259 5928
Maharashtra Gadchiroli, Gondia 3326 4157 5790
Total States : 7, Districts: 23 20514 26093 36116


Total project outlay and fund sharing pattern:

State/Category Credit Beneficiary MORD CSB Total Cost  (lakh)
Andhra Pradesh 83.091 116.024 784.040 262.668 1245.823
Chhattisgarh 47.784 69.806 598.451 204.256  920.297
Maharashtra 81.377 109.152 762.774 250.069 1203.372
West Bengal 39.107 44.152 400.848 133.545  617.652
Orissa 39.155 38.812 359.359 118.428  555.753
Jharkhand 167.141 221.575 1790.207 591.740 2770.664
Bihar 25.860 105.581 673.273 219.305 1024.019
Total Project Outlay 483.516 705.102 5368.952 1780.011 8337.581
% share 5.80 8.46 64.39 21.35 100.00
Total Project Grant     5368.952 1780.011 7148.963
%share     75.0 25.0 100.00

Total project outlay and fund sharing pattern:

State Investment/family (Rs.) Sector support cost (Rs.) Total investment/ family Total project grant/ beneficiary
Individual Training Common assets
Andhra Pradesh 5,139 4,228 7,860 3,790 21,018 17659
Chhattisgarh 4,838 3,895 5,540 6,157 20,431 17820
Maharashtra 5,490 4,176 7,922 3,195 20,784 17493
West Bengal 6,987 4,023 7,070 5,384 23,464 20301
Orissa 5,857 3,992 7,067 4,021 20,938 18001
Jharkhand 9,812 3,781 7,739 2,893 24,224 29295
Bihar 13,618 3,672 8,577 6,442 32,309 28161
Total 7607 3956 7514 4009 23086 20826