Tata Steel Mining Limited (TSML) in association with its Corporate Social Service Responsibility wing Tata Steel Foundation (TSF) has come forward to conserve Sukinda Ecorace, an indigenous silkworm breed of Sukinda in Odisha’s Jajpur district. Senior members of the Central Silk Board (CSB), TSML, TSF and other experts deliberated on this subject in a workshop organised at Sukinda on Saturday in presence of scientists and tasar farmers and prepared a road map for conservation of Sukinda Ecorace, which produces the finest silk. Under continuous monitoring by CSB, TSF and TSML, the project will be taken forward and assessment will be made on mainstreaming the same after one year.
Dr K Sathyanarayana, Director, Central Tasar Research and Training Institute, Ranchi, who joined as the Chief Guest on the occasion said, “conservation of this indigenous variety of silkworm Sukinda Ecorace is highly essential to preserve our biodiversity and the bounty of nature for posterity. This will also help increase tasar productivity.” Elaborating on Tata Steel Mining’s commitment to biodiversity, its managing director, Pankaj Satija, said, ”we will extend all support to the Central Silk Board for conservation of Sukinda Ecorace in order to contribute to biological diversity of the region and also help the local tasar farmers. This is one of many such initiatives we have been undertaking to create awareness on biodiversity among the community around our operations.” Since 2007, Tasar Rearers’ Cooperative Society of Sukinda had started rearing Sukinda Ecorace. However, this breed has been slowly vanishing. Another breed – Daba TV has become more dominant now. The natural habitat of superior Sukinda Ecorace breed is Sukinda region where the forest type is tropical moist deciduous, and the soil type is red loamy, officials said. Out of eight breeds of silkworms available in Odisha, many farmers in the region depend on ‘tasar’ farming of Sukinda Ecorace for their livelihood, they said.
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