As the country struggles with Covid-19, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), in collaboration with its Khadi Institutions (KIs) in Tamil Nadu, has set an example by purchasing cocoon directly from farmers. This effort by KVIC has three objectives: first, to help the struggling cocoon farmers sell their crop in this lockdown. Second, to ensure a continuous supply of cocoons to the khadi institutions involved in silk production. The third objective is to assure that KVIC will overcome the most difficult challenges in the worst-case scenarios. Shedding light on the issue, KVIC Chairman Vinai Saxena reminded that “Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that farmers are the backbone of the country and keeping in mind their welfare, we took these steps. Even though the purchases were not easy at all. As per the procedure in vogue, silk producing KIs have to purchase silk cocoons from the state govt regulated sericulture markets only.
Hence, permission was required from the district administration as well as from the sericulture department for the direct purchase from the farmers”. Saxena further said that “It was through our constant efforts and resolve to solve the plight of the farmers that we were able to convince the district administration and the sericulture department.” The necessity of this deal can be gauged by the fact that reared cocoons must be steamed within five days, else the larvae cut the shell and come out, thus rendering the entire crop waste. KVIC’s Chennai office in coordination with 6 Khadi institutions, has facilitated the purchase of around 9,500 kg of the cocoon directly from the farmers, worth over Rs 40 lakhs. Six more KIs are likely to get permission soon to purchase 8000 kgs cocoon directly from farmers.
KVIC has always shown great concern for the development of farmers in particular and Khadi institutions in general; be it taking the historic initiative of setting up first-ever silk processing plant in Surendranagar in Gujrat while reducing the cost of production of silk yarn drastically to implementing plans and policies for the upliftment of cocoon farmers, KVIC has left no stone unturned and is consistently striving to make India a better place for farmers, producers, and the consumer.