Minakshi Meshram, Harkesh Kumar Balai, Sarita Paradkar and Ravindra Dohley
1 Ad hoc Assistant Professor, Dept Agricultural Extension, Pt.KLS, CHRS, Rajnandgaon, MGUVV
2 Ad hoc Assistant Professor, Dept Agricultural Economics, Jagannath University, Jaipur (Rajasthan)
3, 4 Ph.D. Research Scholar, Department of Agricultural Extension, RVSKV, Gwalior (M.P.)

About Farmer

Name: Mr. Harish Deshmukh

Age: 35 Years

Address: Vill. Baghera

District: Rajnandgaon (C.G)

Mobile Number: 9685944367

Mr. Harish Deshmukh, a seasoned farmer residing in Baghera village. Rajnandgaon, embodies the epitome of success in sericulture. At 35 years, with four years of hands-on experience, his expertise illuminates the path for aspiring entrepreneurs. Armed with a post-graduation in Microbiology from Nagpur and a diploma in Sericulture from the Center for Sericulture & Biological Pest Management Research, Nagpur, Mr. Deshmukh's journey serves as an invaluable guide for those venturing into the sericulture industry.

Mulberry Cultivation Initiation:
Mr. Harish Deshmukh commenced his sericulture journey by cultivating mulberry on a one-acre plot in his village. He sourced DFLs (Disease-Free Layings) from Wardha, Maharashtra, known to contain approximately 450 to 500 eggs per DFL. The chosen variety was V-1, with a recommended spacing of 4' x 2'. DFLs are readily available for farmers through both government and private agencies across the country at affordable prices. The accessibility of DFLs at nominal rates enabled the farmer like Mr. Harish Deshmukh to embark on his sericulture ventures without significant financial barriers.

Challenges & innovation:
During the initial 1-2 years, Mr. Harish Deshmukh encountered challenges related to temperature and humidity control, crucial factors in silk production. However, with perseverance and patience, he overcame these obstacles. He emphasized the importance of proper cultivation techniques, noting that with the right approach, a farmer can earn over 2 lakhs annually from one acre.

To address the climate sensitivity of silk production, Mr. Deshmukh constructed sheds using bamboo and wood materials on his property. Additionally, he opted for bivoltine silkworm rearing, characterized by its distinctive white color. He highlighted the versatility of the silk market in India, where demand exists across various regions. Leveraging this demand, individuals can explore export opportunities based on their convenience and prevailing market prices.

Community Leadership and Expansion:
Mr. Harish Deshmukh, in his capacity as the village sarpanch, has not only implemented this technique for his personal gain but has also ensured its benefits reach the wider community. Collaborating with a field officer from the Silk Board, he meticulously planned and prepared the field for cultivation. The entire process, from planting to nurturing, was meticulously overseen by Mr. Deshmukh himself.

Furthermore, with funding secured from the collectorate, he has constructed two sheds within the past two years. Today, these sheds provide employment to two women's groups, offering them not only a livelihood but also a sense of empowerment. Mr. Deshmukh's determination knows no bounds; he remains committed to expanding silk production on a larger scale and tirelessly dedicates himself to this endeavor day and night. Such young entrepreneurs are indispensable for the progress of our nation.

Rural Industrial Development & Employment opportunities:
Government initiatives aimed at rural industrial development have significantly boistered employment opportunities in rural areas. Through the facilitation of resource clustering activities within rural industrial parks, businesses such as sericulture and silk threading stand to benefit significantly. This clustering fosters collaboration, knowledge sharing, and economies of scale, thereby enhancing the competitiveness and sustainability of businesses within the park. Consequently, the rural economy experiences positive growth, with increased employment generation and improved livelihoods for local communities.