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Smriti Irani sets on roll Rs 55 crore soil to silk project in Udalguri

GUWAHATI: Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani on Friday inaugurated Rs 55 crore Integrated Soil to Silk Project at Udalguri in Assam besides other projects of the ministry.

The Minister said that the project envisaged for new Eri plantation at 100 hectares of land. Moreover, through this project the Central Silk Board will work towards rejuvenation of 600 hectares of existing Eri Farms, she added.

The project will facilitate Post cocoon activities for on-farm sector like plantation, seed graineur, spinning, reeling etc. It will also provide handlooms and work sheds to 2500 weavers which in turn will provide important linkages for self-sustenance of the production activities.

The project is expected to generate direct employment for 15,600 persons during the project period and 7,000 persons per year when the project attains full capacity, she added.

The minister also inaugurated the Eri Spun Silk Mill and said that the expected turnover from the project during the first year was around Rs 10.00 crore with a net profit of Rs 3.00 crore. The project, which will be implemented directly by State in co-coordination with Central Silk Board, is expected to generate direct employment to 107 persons throughout the year and indirect employment to around 1,500 Eri farmers through backward linkage and around 730 weavers through forward linkage, she added.

The minister made special mention of Eri Silk Development Project which has been dedicated for sustainable livelihood to women of BTC through Tapioca plantation at Kokrajhar at a total cost of Rs.18.63 crore for conducting silkworm rearing, for Eri cocoon production and further value addition.

Under this project, 1000 acres of Tapioca plantation with 1400 beneficiaries will be covered, she added. She also said, “ The objective of the project is to utilize Tapioca plantation for dual purpose i.e ‘tuber’ for food and ‘leaves’ for Eri silkworm to cover tribal families below poverty line for poverty alleviation besides exploiting available natural resources to the best advantage of the Eri Silkworm rearing and weaving sector”.

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