Determinants of Mulberry Silk Cocoon Quality
India is the second largest producer of mulberry raw silk. However, the productivity and quality of the silk produced in the country is not up to the level of China, the largest producer of silk in the world. As cocoon quality contributes to the tune of about 80% of the raw silk quality, good quality cocoon is essential for the production of quality silk. The quality of silk cocoons depends on... (see full summary)
IntroductionIndia is the second largest producer of mulberry raw silk with the annual production of 16.81 thousand tons during 2006-07. However, over 94% of the silk produced in the country is of multivoltine variety, which is less in productivity and quality compared to that of bivoltine silk, which is produced in sericulturally advanced countries such as Japan and China. Though attempts have been made ever since 1981 through different sericulture development projects to increase the production of quality bivoltine silk, bivoltine silk production has not caught up significantly. The major reasons identified for the production of low quality silk in India could be attributed to the failure of market mechanisms to pay remunerative prices to good quality cocoon as well as silk (Gopal and Asopa, 1993; and Vasumathi, 2000) and production of cocoons and raw silk in small lots using traditional technologies (Kumaresan, 2002).The quality of silk is influenced by silkworm races, rearing management and the process used for reeling such as cocoon stifling/drying, sorting, storing, cooking, reeling and the skill of the reeler. Among these factors, it has been established that cocoon quality contributes to the tune of about 80% of the raw silk quality (Shimazaki, 1964). Cocoon quality is governed by several parameters, each of them being associated with a certain level of importance (Anon, 1996). Some of the important quality parameters usually considered are shell ratio, defective cocoon percentage, average filament length, average non-broken filament length, denier, and reelability percentage. Each of the quality parameters has its own relative significance on the reeling efficiency and raw silk quality. In this context, a study has been taken up to analyze the extent of relationship of different factors on raw silk quality.MethodologyThe data with respect to each cocoon and raw silk characteristics were obtained from the reports on the reeling tests conducted on the cocoons produced by the farmers under the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) assisted project entitled "Project for Strengthening Extension System for Bivoltine Sericulture (PEBS)". This project was implemented from 2002 to 2007 in major silk producing states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with a major objective to evolve an effective extension system for popularization of bivoltine sericulture in India. In order to assess the quality of the cocoon produced by the farmers, the sample cocoons were collected from the...
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