Sericulture farmers stage protest in Karnataka

Sericulture farmers stage protest in Kolar

Sericulture farmers taking out a procession in Kolar.

Sericulture farmers on Monday staged a protest in the Kolar town expressing anguish over the steep fall in prices of silk cocoons.

Organised under the banner of Reshme Belegarara Jitharakshana Samiti and Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, the sericulturists took out a procession from Government Silk Market. Buullock carts carrying cocoon were part of the procession to attract the attention of the authorities. The protest disrupted the traffic for some time.

The protesters demanded that the government should ensure a stable price of ₹ 350 per kg of cocoons to save the farmers from distress. “The Karnataka Silk Marketing Board should be revived in this connection”, they said.

The fall in prices of cocoons from ₹ 300 – ₹ 600 to around ₹ 100 to ₹ 250 per kg has left farmers in the lurch, farmers’ leader Chinnapura Narayanaswamy said. “Suicide by a sericulture farmer in a Kolar village a few days ago sheds light on the situation”, he added.

Hundreds of farmers take part in protest against Centre’s economic policies in Mandya

Sericulture farmers staging a protest on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway in Mandya

The another protest was organised by ‘Mandya District Sericulture Growers Forum’ in the Mandya town. Hundreds of farmers from across Mandya and Ramanagaram districts participated in the demonstration. A rally was also taken out on the highway before the commencement of the demonstration.

The protesting farmers criticised Indian government for destroying the lives of sericulture growers through its economic policies.They wanted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban the import of silk, impose at least 32% of cess on the import of raw silk, announce minimum support price [of at least Rs. 550 a kg of cocoon] and provide financial assistance to sericulture and mulberry growers.

The cocoons which were selling at Rs. 450-550 a kg now cost Rs. 120-150 owing to the economic policies of the Centre, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) district president Shambhunahalli Suresh said. Making mandatory the purchase of cocoons at minimum support price through the Karnataka Silk Marketing Board (KSMB) and the Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation (KSIC) could improve the livelihood of sericulture growers, he opined.

These reports were first published in The Hindu, The Hindu