Sericulture as an Employment Generating Household Industry in West Bengal (A Study on its Current Problems & Prospects)
31 Pages Posted: 5 May 2015 Last revised: 26 Mar 2019
Date Written: December 3, 2012
Employment generation is one of the major potentials of Sericulture and Silk Industry in India. The farm and non-farm activity of this sector creates sixty lakh mandays of employment every year mostly in rural sector. The industry helps to create egalitarian distribution of income as it transfers greater share of its wealth from high end urban customers to poor artisan classes. In West Bengal, more than one lakh families are occupied with sericulture activities where Karnataka is the state with the largest number of families involved with sericulture. Despite having high level family involvement, West Bengal produces smaller quantities of raw silk compared to Karnataka as well as Andhra Pradesh. This paper investigates the reason of this low production and finds out that low productivity of land is no way responsible for that. Different Employment Models constructed in this paper suggest that ‘area of mulberry cultivation’, ‘cocoon-market’ and ‘power-looms’ are powerful factors in changing the level of employment, while the primary survey exposes factors like ‘unitary household structure’, ‘income’ ‘years of education’ and ‘numbers of female in the household’ as the significant factors in accelerating average employment per family. The spillover effect of this employment generation is studied at the end. The study finds that as a poverty eradication measure, sericulture fails to expand in rural West Bengal vis-à-vis the other prominent states. But income inequality is undoubtedly diminished with the practice in sericulture.
Keywords: Sericulture, Employment, Silk, Poverty, Inequality
JEL Classification: O13, J2, L7
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation