Silk is a luxurious item and a sign of prestige which is mostly used by affluent people of the society. Silk became a precious commodity highly sought by other countries at a very early time, and it is believed that the silk trade was actually started before the Silk Road was officially opened in the second century BC. Silk enters the 21st century as string, smooth, much sought after environment friendly, healthy textile fibre.
India has long history of silk development and at present ranks second largest producer of silk in the World after China. Silk cultivation today not only upholds a cherished tradition but also plays a crucial role in India’s economic planning, because a huge amount of money is looming from the sericulture industry. Sericulture industry provides employment to approximately 8 million people in rural and semi-urban areas in India.
Indian silk has a long tradition, which strongly interlink with the social and cultural values of the country. This traditional and culture bound domestic market and a remarkable variety of silk garments has helped the country to achieve a leading position in silk industry. Sericulture has developed in India as an agro-based cottage and rural industry with tremendous scope to contribute to the rural economy. But the current production of silk in the country cannot deliver the demand for silk in the country.
North East has the unique distinction of being the only region producing four varieties of silk viz., Mulberry, Ok Tasar, Muga and Eri. The broad objective of the North East Textile Promotion Scheme is to develop and modernise the textile sector in the North East Region by providing the required Government support in terms of raw material, seed banks, machinery, common facility centres, skill development, design and marketing support etc. however sericulture is concentrated only in few pockets. Therefore more efforts should be made to popularise this activity in non-traditional region.