Sericulture started in Punjab in the year 1895. Sericulture was confined only to the sub-montane region of the state. After the restructuring of Punjab, State's major portion of the sericulture was lost to the State of Himachal Pradesh. Sericulture wing was transferred from the Industry Department to Horticulture Department in the year 1994. Sericulture is an agro based occupation mainly of the below poverty line (BPL's) rural people mostly belonging to the scheduled caste and backward classes. Presently the Sericulture activities in Punjab state are spread over four districts viz. Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur and Ropar and controlled through two Divisions i.e. Sujanpur (Pathankot) and Mukerian (Hoshiarpur). Punjab is a minor silk producing state i.e. non traditional. Keeping in view the agro-climatic conditions of the state one crop is taken in the spring season (March-April). The second crop of autumn season (September-October) is taken on very small scale. It leads to annual production of 3000-4000 kg of raw silk and produces 25000-30000 kg of silk reeling cocoon.
Sericulture is an agro based activity which requires low input but gives very high income as compare to other agro based activities. It is main source of income for bpl families and farmers with small land holdings. India enjoys a unique distinction of being the only country in the world producing all the five varieties of natural silk viz., mulberry, tropical tasar, oak tasar, eri and muga. Of which, india has the monopoly in muga silk production.

Status of india with respect to silk production in the world. a) India ranks second i.e. Only next to China in silk production.
b) Contributes around 18 % of the total global raw silk production.

Silkworm:
c) Mulberry silkworm, bombyx mori l belonging to family bombycidae produces the best quality of yellow or white silk.
d) It is monophagous, consuming only the leaves of the mulberry plant.
Punjab is a minor silk producing state i.e. Non traditional, with an annual production of 3.0-4.0 m.ts raw silk and produces 25-30 m.ts of silk reeling cocoon.
Sericulture cropping pattern:
In Punjab, two crops (autumn and spring) schedule is practiced, of that spring crop contributes more than 70% of the total production of cocoon. The agro-climatic condition of some pockets of the state is very congenial and conducive for cultivation of mulberry silk. The climatic conditions during March-April and September-October are most suitable for mulberry silkworm rearing.

UP