Why small and marginal farmers should adopt mulberry sericulture in their farm.

19 Apr 2023
Why small and marginal farmers should adopt mulberry sericulture in their farm.

What is Mulberry Sericulture?

Sericulture is an age old practice of rearing silkworms to make silk by feeding them mulberry leaves and helping them form cocoons. These cocoons are reeled into silk threads which are later used by weavers to make silk garments. This entire process of cultivating mulberry plants and rearing the worms in a rearing house to form cocoons is called 'Sericulture'.

Why is Sericulture a profitable activity?

  • Market Demand : There is considerable demand for silk in India. We produce about 38,500 tons of silk every year but this only caters to 50% of the market demand. We import the remaining requirements, mostly from China.
  • Cocoon Prices in Ramnagar
    • Mulberry silk cocoons are sold in an organised and well established market in Ramnagar, Karnataka which is set up by the government to ensure fair and transparent rates for farmers selling silkworm cocoons.
    • Before corona hit the country the prices for mulberry silk cocoons used to be between Rs. 400 ~ Rs. 600 per kg.
    • During lockdown the prices were around Rs 160 ~ Rs. 300 because of demand and supply problems.
    • However, now after opening up, the prices have risen due to increase in demand and import substitution.
    • Over the past few months the cocoons have been sold between Rs. 500 ~ Rs. 1,000 per kg.

Case of Successful Adoption of Mulberry Sericulture by Farmers of Marathwada

  • Over the past few years 100s of small and marginal farmers in Marathwada region have adopted mulberry sericulture over one acre of their farm.
  • The annual farm income of these farmers before undertaking mulberry sericulture was around Rs. 30,000 per acre. They used to grow cotton, soya, sugarcane, etc. which did not give them good income. Aside from low income generation these farmers had many constraints on the field.
  • Water Constraint: In Marathwada, farmers faced severe water shortage. 6 draughts in the last 20 years. Scanty rainfall in the last 3 years. Average 700mm rainfall annually.
  • Soil Condition: Soil in Marathwada is relatively poor due to usage of urea and pesticides.
  • Weather Conditions: The weather is dry, hot and unfavourable for any crop that would require water.
  • Proper Adoption of Mulberry Sericulture: However, against all odds the early adopters of sericulture managed to achieve successful output from just 1 acre of land and today these farmers are earning well over Rs. 2 lakhs annually. They followed all the best practices including planting good quality saplings, installing irrigation systems for timely and adequate water supply, ensured proper cultivation, constructed and maintained the rearing house properly, followed every step of the rearing and feed management to achieve good cocoon output from each batch of rearing.
 Estimated Project Costing for Mulberry based Sericulture in 1 acre cultivation with 800DFL 
AFixed Capital(Rs.)
1Farm Fencing (Material and Installation Labour Chgs.)30,000
2Source of water (Deep Bore Well including Pump set)100,000
3Drip Irrigation Cost (Rs 60,000) less 50% subsidy under PMKSY30,000
412% GST on the total cost of drip irrigation7,200
5Construction Cost of Rearing Shed including rack & equipment (1000 sq.ft.)350,000
6Cost of Mulberry Sapling pair rowing (material & logistics) (5,000 plants)25,000
 Total A542,200
BProject Setup Cost(Rs.)
1Land Preparation Cost15,400
2Material Cost18,600
 Total B34,000
CRecurring Cost every year(Rs.)
1Cost of cultivation (materials and labour charges)24,000
2Cost of DFL @160 DFL / cycle for 5 cycle8,000
 Total C32,000
 Operational Cost - mulberry cultivation per acre 
ALand Preparation Labour Cost(Rs.)
1Tractor Tilling for land preparation4,000
2FYM application2,400
3Preparation ridge/furrow/pit making6,000
4Planting of Saplings3,000
 Total Land Preparation Labour Cost15,400
BMaterial Cost(Rs.)
1Farmyard manure9,600
2Vermicompost/ Bio & Liquid fertilizers2,000
3Fertilizers @ 20:20:20 kg NPK/ acre after 2 months of planting ( 200 kg Ammonium sulphate, 125 kg Single Super Phosphate and 35 kg Muriate of Potash and another dose of N@20kg)5,000
4Tools / appliances1,500
 Total Material Cost18,600
 Total Operational Cost34,000
CRecurring Cost every year(Rs.)
1DFL purchase (160 DFLs X Rs 10 per DFL X 5 Cycles a year)8,000
2Materials - FYM + NPK8,000
3Labour Service - Rearing4,000
4Weeding 4 times a year4,800
5Ploughing for intercultural operation (two times/ year)1,200
6Irrigation - 40 times a year6,000
 Annual Recurring Cost32,000
Income & Expenditure Statement(All figures in Rs.)
IncomeYear 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5
Rearing Cycles25555
Production of Cocoon in Kg / cycle125125125125125
Total Production of Cocoon in Kg250625625625625
Average Selling Price / Kg500500500500500
Income from sale of Cocoon125,000312,500312,500312,500312,500
Total Income125,000312,500312,500312,500312,500
Recurring cost of Cocoon / year10,70032,00032,00032,00032,000
Total Expenditure10,70032,00032,00032,00032,000
Net Income114,300280,500280,500280,500280,500

Recent Posts


Why small and marginal farmers should adopt mulberry sericulture in their farm.

19 Apr 2023


Questions ? 
Get in touch with us