Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Struggles of ‘Silk Lady’ of Karnataka

Along with silk production, 'Silk Lady' does vegetable cultivation too


‘Silk Lady’ is from a village in Ramanagara district of Karnataka, whose name is Vaderahalli village. This village is backward in terms of female literacy. The female literacy rate here is only 23.9%. Despite this, the women here are second to none in terms of self-reliance. A woman farmer of the same village has set an example and became ‘Silk Lady’, by improving her economic condition through sericulture and intercropping farming.

Sometimes it was difficult to pay school fees

Satya kumari, who hails from Vaderahalli village in Karnataka, had to struggle to meet even basic necessities. It was also difficult to pay the school fees of the children, but silkworm rearing improved their lifestyle.

The rearing of silkworms is the main cottage industry of Karnataka. Faced with difficult circumstances, Satya kumari started mulberry cultivation and was also very enthusiastic about inter-cropping of vegetables.

It all started 15 years ago 

‘Silk Lady’ Satya kumari started silkworm rearing from home 15 years ago. Gradually, her income increased by adopting new technology and now she also rears insects in a separate shed.

Silk Lady
Image Credit: krishivistar

Got help from training

When Satya kumari decided to cultivate vegetables along with mulberry, she was in a dilemma. They feared that intercropping of vegetables might not give them a good yield. Meanwhile she attended a training program on sericulture organized by Sericulture Department and Karnataka State Sericulture Research & Development Institute, KSSRDI.

Agricultural scientists encouraged them to cultivate in 5*5 feet space instead of the usual 3*3 feet. Also advised to adopt drip technique of irrigation. Apart from this, it is advised to grow different types of vegetables. Satya kumari started cultivating mulberry (V1 variety) along with spinach, cluster bean along with many other vegetables. Also plant eucalyptus trees around the field.

Also Read: Baby Corn Farming: Padmashree farmer Kanwal Singh Chouhan has joined thousands of farmers in the cultivation of baby corn, know the formula of earning more profit and yield in less time 

Silk Lady
Image Credit: krishivistar

Mulberry is harvested 5-6 times a year 

‘Silk Lady’ Satya kumari harvests mulberry leaves about 5 to 6 times a year at an interval of 70 days. She feeds these leaves to the 8-day-old larvae, which she buys from the nearest outpost rearing centre. Then for 15 days she rears her in the shed. 200 eggs are hatched for each batch. In total, 1000 eggs are laid annually. 150-160 kg of cocoons are harvested from each batch. It is sold at the rate of Rs 450 per kg. To expand her farming, she has also taken one and a half acres of land on lease. 

Silk Lady

‘Silk Lady’ does all the work herself 

Satya kumari herself does all the work from manure to irrigation, harvesting of mulberry leaves, sowing vegetables, irrigation, and harvesting. After selling the cocoons, her husband also helps in cleaning the beds that keep them.

How much is the income? 

Silkworm rearing costs about Rs 2 lakh to Satya kumari. Due to this, she earns 5 lakh rupees annually, that is, she earns a profit of about 3 lakh rupees. She has also kept 2 milch animals, from which she earns a profit of 10 thousand rupees every month.

Silk Lady

Best silkworm farming for women

They say that silkworm rearing is such an activity that women can do it indoors. Women in the family at large can be involved in this and it is convenient for women. She can do it even with her domestic responsibilities. 


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