As an industry, the production of silk is a highly employment-orientated, low capital-intensity activity and ideally suited to the conditions of a labour-abundant economy. Its production relies on the careful husbanding of caterpillars and the handling of cocoons. The object of this book is to provide an overview of the techno-economic issues in the production of silk in India, to examine the development impact of the activity and to suggest strategies for strengthening its contribution to rural development. A brief history of silk and a layman's description of production processes, from its origins in China to present-day producers, is followed by an examination of the policy and marketing efforts of the Indian government. The technological issues affecting the development of sericulture, and the all-important micro-economic issues, such as price, are explored. The book concludes with a summary examination of the development of the silk industry and considers how silk production may become more important to the rural development process.
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