What is Silk Farming?

Whether you are thinking about becoming a sericulture farmer or have already started your own farm, it’s important to understand what silk farming is all about. Here, you’ll find an overview of silk farming, from how to care for silkworms to what challenges you can face in the field.

Raw silk vs spun silk

Despite the fact that both silk and spun silk are considered to be a fine fabric, there are actually different types of these fibers. The quality and characteristics of these materials differ depending on the type of yarn used and the process used to make them.

Silk is a precious and delicate fiber that has been praised as the queen of all textile fibers. It has been prized as a fabric for clothing and home furnishings for many centuries. It is also a natural wonder. The popularity of silk in today’s fashion industry is no surprise.

Both silk and spun silk are very soft and comfortable. They have excellent drape and sheen. They are easy to work with and can be easily woven into many different kinds of fabrics. They are also a good choice for everyday clothes.

There are two main types of spun silk. The first is made from broken and damaged cocoons. These are then twisted to form a skein. The other type is produced from scraps of raw silk. It is not as glossy or soft as classic silk, but it is very comfortable to wear.

The best silk is obtained from mulberry silkworms. The larvae of these worms are harvested from their cocoons. These are then treated chemically to remove the sticky protein layers. This process also makes it possible to make a pure silk thread. The resulting thread is used to make silk fabrics.

There are a number of ways that you can go about producing pure silk. Some of these methods involve treating the yarns with chemicals, while others use mechanical methods. These techniques are used to produce a variety of products including clothes, footwear, and furnishings. During the production of silk, a number of steps are involved, including rearing the worms, spinning the filaments, and dyeing the finished product.

The sheen of a fabric is determined by the number of plies used in the weaving process. The higher the number, the better. This means that the surface will be able to reflect light better. It can also mean that the fabric will have a more even texture.

Diseases in silkworms

Various infectious diseases can affect silkworms. They can be caused by viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. They occur due to unhygienic conditions, inadequate disinfection, or secondary contamination. These diseases can cause loss of up to 40 percent of the total crop.

Infections can affect both male and female silkworms. The incidence of diseases is seasonal. During the rainy season, the rate of disease is low, but during the winter season, the rate of diseases is high. The most common diseases in silkworms are microsporidians, viruses, and fungi.

Various approaches are used for detecting diseases in silkworms. One of the most widely used methods is immunoblotting. This method involves blotting antigen-antibody complexes on the surface of the blotter. This technique is based on the traditional precipitin immunoassay.

Another approach is to analyze the gut contents of the silkworms. This study has shown that the gut of the silkworm is affected by microsporidians. The microsporidia are the largest intracellular pathogen group. They can infect virtually all animals. The host response to microsporidia is not well understood. A study was conducted to investigate the abundance and infectivity of the microsporidia.

Bacterial genera were categorized based on the abundance of these bacterial species. The predominant bacterial genus was Pseudomonas. The second most abundant genus was Sphingomonas, and the third most abundant was Delftia. The fourth to fifth most abundant bacterial genus was Acinetobacter. Other studies have shown that Acinetobacter has cellulolytic and esterase activities in silkworms.

The abundance of the bacterial genera was significantly different between the infected and the control silkworms. The ratio of Proteobacteria was higher in the infected silkworms. Moreover, the proportion of Lactococcus and Anderseniella was lower in the infected silkworms.

The bacterial taxa that were most abundant in the silkworms were Pseudomonas, Incertae sedis, Delftia, Sphingomonas, and Acinetobacter. However, the relative abundance of these genera varied throughout the instars. Interestingly, the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity was low, suggesting that the bacterial genera are generally related to one another.

Diseases in silkworms are transmitted by a protozoan called Nosema bombycis. This protozoan enters the silkworm through the food that the moth eats. The protozoa is passed down from the mother to the eggs, which give rise to infected larvae.

Challenges in silk farming

Despite being a multi-billion dollar industry, silk farming is facing numerous challenges. These include environmental risks, such as pollution and disease. Other challenges include a lack of investment capital and quality control tools.

Sericulture, the cultivation of silkworms, has provided significant economic benefits for local economies over millennia. It has been recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Although the industry has experienced a decline over the past five years, the production level is still very high in many countries.

The decline began after the second World War and peaked in the 1970s. It has been affected by social and political changes in ex-communist countries. Some of these changes included economic reforms and an increased use of chemical and agricultural products.

The production of sericulture has also been affected by dramatic climate changes. These changes affect the soil, the pests and the insects. The main challenge is to develop new strategies that will mitigate the impact of both the use of chemicals and climatic changes.

One of the main challenges in silk farming is the consumption of water. Water is needed to clean the silk, to feed the silkworms and to process the materials. Untreated water can be dumped into groundwater and may contain biological and chemical toxins. Eutrophication, which occurs when increased nutrient loads to bodies of water, can lead to fish kills, dead zones, and harmful algae blooms.

Some silkworm varieties are prone to diseases. Some of these diseases include Flacherie and Grasserie. These diseases can destroy sericulture value chains. Other issues include producing small niche textiles from cocoons, and improving raw silk quality.

It is important to understand that sericulture can be practiced at industrial and artisanal scales. In addition, it is essential to increase research and training capacity to meet market demands.

Managing sericultural chains requires coordination of agricultural production at farm level, reeling and textile plants, and logistics of cocoon storage. The European Union supports funding for research and development to improve the quality of silkworm eggs and for the exchange of sericulture germplasm resources. In addition, EU funds are available to increase the quality of mulberry saplings.

Career options in sericulture

Several career options are available for those who want to become sericulturists. They can start their own business or work in the government sector. However, it is necessary to have a postgraduate degree to enter into this field.

The silk industry is a cottage industry and it is an opportunity for women to earn good income. Sericulturists are in high demand, especially in the west. The silk worms can be raised in all weather conditions, and the job involves gentle handling of the cocoons. The cost of the silkworm cocoons is around 400-450 rupees per kilogram.

Sericulturists can get a job in the national banks, agricultural loan departments, and in other institutions. The salary is also high, and it increases with experience. Professionals with proper training can earn up to INR 15000/- PM in the public sector.

Jobs in the silk industry are available in private firms and NGOs. The pay scale is higher in the private companies. The Central Silk Board is one of the best recruiting companies for sericulturists. It hires graduates of BSc sericulture.

Candidates can also apply for government jobs in the state khadi board. They can also find employment in the welfare department run by NGOs. The starting salary for sericulturists is INR 15,000/- per month.

The government is also trying to promote the production of silk. It has decided to give subsidised saplings to farmers. The government also uses the services of sericulturists in its research facilities.

In India, there are a number of sericulturists who earn good money in private firms. The starting salary for a sericulturist in the government sector is INR 15,000/-.

If you are looking for better job opportunities, then sericulture is the right choice. It provides you better job prospects and opens a wide meadow for employment in India.

There are many courses in sericulture for students who wish to study the subject. They are conducted nationally, and internationally. Some of the colleges that offer sericulture as a career option include Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Chennai, and Tamil Nadu Agricultural College, Chennai.

The job of a sericulturist involves handling of silk worms, producing raw silk yarn, and finishing. It requires the skills of physical abilities, attention to details, and mental aptitude.

Related articles

  • Getting to Know the Different Types of Crops [Complete Guide]

  • What is a Tenant Farmer? Complete Guide

  • What is Agrivoltaics? Complete Guide

  • What is Agricultural Science? Complete Guide

  • What is Intensive Agriculture? Complete Guide

  • What is a Paddy Field? Complete Guide