On March 7, 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) and Central Silk Board under the Ministry of Textiles during ‘National level programme on convergence of Agro-Sericulture and eradication of Thigh reeling’ . As a part of MoU, there will be implementation of Agroforestry in the silk sector under the ongoing Sub-Mission on Agroforestry (SMAF) Scheme.
- This will be on the lines of Make in India and Make for the World vision of Indian Government.
- The MoU was signed by Alka Bhargava, Additional Secretary, DAC&FW (Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare) and Rajit Ranjan Okhandiar, Member Secretary (Central Silk Board), Ministry of Textiles in the presence of Union Minister of State (MoS) MoA&FW Parshottam Rupala and Union Minister for Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani and other dignitaries.
- Objective – To incentivize farmers to take up sericulture based Agroforestry models. (Sericulture, or silk farming, is the cultivation of silkworms to produce silk.)
- Central Silk Board (CSB), Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India will act as a catalyst to promote Agroforestry in the silk sector.
- Key People:The MoU was signed in the presence of Union Textiles and Women and Child Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani and Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Parshottam Rupala.
Key features of MoU:
i.To support the production of famous Indian silks & will increase the quality as well as the production capacity of silk in India.
ii.To promote Agroforestry in the silk sector by Central Silk Board (CSB).
iii.The MoU will increase the agricultural income from 20 to 30% & already their income were almost increased to 60% by adopting Agro Technical Textile.
While addressing the event, Union Textiles and Women and Child Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani said,
i.India will be fully Atmanirbhar in Silk production in the next two years.
ii.5000 women have already been supported under Silk Samagra Phase I.
i.The Buniyaad Reeling Machine for Tussar Silk Yarn were also distributed to some of the beneficiaries on the occasion to eradicate Unhygienic and Obsolete Thigh Reeling Practice.
i.Raw silk production in India has increased 35% in the last six years.
ii.India has become the second largest producer of PPE kits in the world.
About Sub-Mission on Agroforestry (SMAF) Scheme:
Since 2016-17, the DAC& FW has been implementing SMAF as part of the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA). Agroforestry is the interaction of agriculture and trees, including the agricultural use of trees. SMAF was recommended in the National Agroforestry Policy 2014.
- India was the first country to have such a comprehensive policy.
- At present, the scheme is being implemented in 20 States and 2 UTs.
- Efforts are being made to include medicinal, fruits, fodder, tree-borne oilseeds, lac host etc. in addition to the longer rotation timber species.
- The initiative of formalizing the collaboration in the sericulture sector is especially targeted for augmentation of sericulture host plants e.g. Mulberry, Asan, Arjuna, Som, Soalu, Kesseru, BadaKesseru, Phanat, etc. to be cultivated both as block plantations and border or peripheral plantations on farmlands.
Recent Related News:
i.The Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) gave approval to MoAFW to use drones (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles -UAVs) to capture images of rice and wheat fields in 100 districts to assess crop yields at gram panchayat level under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Government of India’s Crop Insurance Scheme.
ii.Government has fixed the target of Rs. 16.50 lakh crore for Ground Level Credit (GLC) to agriculture for 2021-2022. It is an increase of 10% over the previous year’s Rs 15 lakh crore. The target has been fixed considering the performance under GLC flow during 2013-14 to 2020-21.
About Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoAFW):
Union Minister– Narendra Singh Tomar(Constituency- Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State– Parshottam Rupala(Constituency-Gujarat), Kailash Choudhary(Constituency- Barmer(Rajasthan)