Dr. Bijoy Krishna Handique on “Applications of advanced geospatial technology for sericulture development in India”

Dr. Bijoy Krishna Handique is a Scientist-SF at North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC), Dept. of Space, Govt. of India in Meghalaya.

Dr. Bijoy Krishna Handique says “Sericulture is a source of livelihood and provides gainful employment in the rural areas, especially for the women. The Central Silk Board (CSB), Ministry of Textiles has placed greater emphasis on improving the productivity at all stages of silk production to ensure higher returns to the stakeholders. Realizing that the space technology in the past has provided valuable inputs to the sericulture development, CSB has requested the Department of Space (DOS) to suggest appropriate inputs for expansion of sericulture activities particularly in the non-traditional sericulture states with a special emphasis on NE states. North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) took the lead on behalf of DOS and came up with the project proposal titled Applications of Remote Sensing and GIS in Sericulture which has two major components: i) Identification and mapping of potential areas on 1: 50,000 scale for development of silkworm host plants covering 178 selected districts in 26 States of India. ii) Development of a network of Sericulture Information Linkages and Knowledge System (SILKS) for the selected districts. The methodology for identification of potential areas for sericulture development involves evaluation of land and water resources requirements for growing silkworm food plants as well as rearing of silk worms. Site suitability parameters in terms of soil and climatic parameters. All these information have been integrated in the SILKS (Sericulture Information Linkages and Knowledge System) portal developed as a part of the project and has been put in the public domain under the domain name http://silks.csb.gov.in. SILKS is a single window, ICT-based information and advisory services system for the farmers, sericulture extension workers, administrators and planners working in the field of sericulture development. A number of sericulture expansion activities have been initiated based on the outputs emerged out of the project. A large number of assets have been created under the falgship project on North East Region Textile Promotion scheme (NERTPS). CSB, Bengaluru entrusted the responsibility of Geotagging of about 45000 Sericulture assets created under NERTPS scheme to NESAC, which has successfully been completed. A number other R&D and applications projects have been taken up in sericulture sector using geospatial technology, which are expected to provide valuable support to the accelerated growth of Sericulture sector in the country.”