Dr. Narendra Kumar Bhatia, Director

Sericulture has been practiced since centuries in North India. Kashmir’s association with silk is mentioned in Rajtragini-the oldest written historical chronicle of Kashmir by great poet & author Kalhana in 1148. Kashmir silk is also mentioned in the travel account of Chinese Buddhist monk & traveler XuangZang (Hiuen Tsang) who visited India during 7th century. Sericulture industry got impetus under Sulthan Jain-Ul-Abiddin (1540AD). In1855, European delegation has visited Kashmir and collected 25000 ounces of silkworm seed to save sericulture in Europe. Under Maharaja Gulab Singh rule silk has become an important article of trade and export. In 1889, Sericulture Development Department was established in Jammu & Kashmir. Kashmir’s first silk reeling factory was started at Solina in Srinagar in 1897. It is recorded that first cocoon exhibition was held in May 1877 at Nurpur (HP), after it its success in Gurdaspur (Punjab). In 1880 Lister & Co. started silkworm rearing at Resham Majri present day P3 BSF Majra, Dehradun (Uttarakhand).

In 1958, Central Silk Board established Central Silkworm Seed Station at Pampore, in 1984 seed station got upgraded as Regional Sericultural Research Station and finally attained its present status of Central Sericultural Research &Training Institute in 1991. Sericulture practices of north especially North Western India is different in many aspects. Climatic conditions are sub tropical or temperate and congenial for bivoltine silkworm rearing but mulberry plantation thrives in the form of tress which are highly scattered and further cold winter restricts number of cocoon crops and sericulture becomes a subsidiary occupation.

Over the period of time CSR&TI Pampore has developed & recommended number of technologies for commercial exploitation through Sericulture Development Departments of the region. High yielding mulberry varieties in temperate region are poor rooters; this issue has been addressed by developing mulberry grafting techniques. Package of practices for mulberry tree plantation, Nursery rising for temperate & sub tropical, intercropping modules has also been workout. Institute and its two Regional Sericultural Research Stations at Jammu and Sahaspur (Dehradun) are maintaining rich collection of exotic & indigenous silkworm and mulberry germplasm. SH6xNB4D2 a bivoltine hybrid was ruling hybrids for decades before introduction of CSR Double hybrids in the region. Doon series of bivoltine hybrids developed at RSRS Dehradun was authorized. In spite of periodical odds, Institute is in final stages of development of bivoltine double hybrids, autumn specific hybrids and all weather bivoltine single hybrids as suitable alternatives for sub optimal rearing practices.

In recent times, MTA has been signed between CSR&TI Pampore & SRIS, Tashkent Uzbekistan for collaborative research. A MoU has been signed with NHAI for development of Mulberry Plantations on the carriageways of national highways for green coverage and livelihood opportunity through sericulture. A pilot project for Rs. 621.67 lakh has been approved for funding by National Highway Authority of India. Emphasis on innovation is continuing Institute has developed first ever mulberry somatic hybrids, Introduction of summer crop between spring & autumn is at OFT level, Development of drought tolerant mulberry genotypes is also in progress. PPR-1 a new mulberry variety developed by Institute for temperate region is under all India coordinated trial. Agro based model of mulberry tree plantation has been developed, raising of mulberry tree plantation in forest land has been initiated by DoF, Punjab.

CSR&TI Pampore together with Departments of Sericulture of the region and other line departments/organizations is committed to serve the sericulture farming community and contribute to make India Atmnirbhar & see emerging as global leader in silk production.