The Phase-III of Bivoltine Sericulture Project – “Project for Strengthening Extension System for Bivoltine Sericulture in India” was launched in April 2002, for a period of five years. Unlike the traditional multivoltine sericulture, bivoltine sericulture cannot withstand low rearind management and simple seed production and processing. Therefore, the following steps are vital for successfully strengthening the bivoltine sericulture extension system:
Progress of this project in the last one year has been in line with the aforesaid steps. The Central Silk Board and the project states have jointly allocated Rs. 115 Crores for five years, towards providing financial support to critical inputs like establishment of rearing facilities, mulberry plantations, supply of rearing equipment, disinfectants, etc.. A coordination-collaboration mechanism has been established between CSB and the State DOS’s, training of staff and farmers is being undertaken by CSR&TI and SSTL. Training manuals have been prepared in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and English. Local manufacturers have also been identified to prepare necessary equipment and accessories.
In order to create an institutional mechanism for dissemination of bivoltine sericulture technology, some existing centers - Technical Service Centres (TSC), Grainages, Basic Seed Farms (BSF’s) and Sericulture Training Schools (STS’s) – were selected from each of the three states. Necessary vehicles, equipment and materials, as well has training, has been provided to these centers to make them effective in the task of technology dissemination.
Press Tour for Sericulture Project
A Press Tour was organized by JICA to publicize the achievements of the “New Japanese Aided Project for Bivoltine Sericulture Development”. A team of media representatives (Indian & Japanese) accompanied by senior officials from JICA and the Central Silk Board toured project sites from 31st August to 2nd September 2003.
Apart from the detailed briefings from the project leaders, the team also visited the Silk Cocoon Market and interacted with farmers and reelers at Ramanagaram.
The press-team consisted of three correspondents representing leading newspapers in Japan, four from newspapers in New Delhi and three correspondents from Bangalore. As a direct result of this press tour, around 20 articles on the sericulture project were published in Japan and India.
Soybean is a valuable source for low-cost protein and for edible oils. Ever since the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) launched the All India Coordinated Research Program on Soybean (AICRP) in 1967, the cultivation of this crop has risen rapidly. At present India produces more than 6 million tones of soybean from 6 million hectares.
In order to improve the food use of soybean, the Indian Government requested JICA for assistance. In response to the request, JICA dispatched Mr. Saneyuki Okuda, an expert in Soy Food Quality & Crop Improvement, to the National Research Centre for Soybean (NRCS-ICAR), from 6th April 2003 to 5th January 2004.
Mr. Okuda first conducted detailed observation trips to soybean cultivation areas in southern Maharashtra and northern Karnataka. This was followed by an evaluation of soybean for food uses in India, through the production of Tofu, vegetable soybean, flour, etc.,. Mr. Okuda also conducted a comparative evaluation of Indian and Japanese soybean and advised Indian scientists on productivity & quality improvement.
A follow-up Cooperation Programme is being considered for the “Project for Development of Quality Seeds (1995)”. Under this project, facilities worth Yen 662 million were provided to the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI) at Karnal and New Delhi.
Under this scheme, some essential spares and replacement of existing equipment would be done to strengthen the capacity of IARI in seed production, processing and storage.