New frame in the making for silkworms

New frame in the making for silkworms

New turn: Silkworms spin filament in the newly designed ‘chandranki’ (mountage, a silkworm rearing frame).DH photos

Newer techniques and equipment are being invented in the sector of sericulture to reduce production cost and dependence on manual labour.

While a few inventions are deliberate attempts by the scientists many others are discovered in way of experimentations by the growers.

Deputy Director of the Cocoon Market in Shidlaghatta Chandru has added to the latest by designing a ‘chandranki’ (mountage, silkworm rearing frame) which ensures less cost and labour.

Readymade

In the old method, the silkworms would be reared in the ready-made ‘chandranki’ when they are ready to spin filament. This method is labour-intensive as manpower is required to clean the frame and other works. It costs Rs 25 per day for a wager.

The newly-designed ‘chandranki’ is lightweight and hence, if it is placed near ripe worms they themselves enter in it. It avoids the process of selecting the ripe worms.

It reduces the costs by Rs 150. Besides, as it ensures free air, it helps worms spin the filament well and quality of cocoons will be enhanced.

No stain

Besides the new design also ensures that the urine will not stain the cocoons in the frame, but directly drops on the floor. It reduces the labour of cleaning the mountages frequently.

Another advantage, Chandru said, is that the new ‘chandranki’ can hold double the quantity of worms, compared to the old structures.

“The new chandranki costs Rs 25, but the increase in production cost will be offset by reduction in requirement of labour,” the deputy director said.

However, it will take a while before they release the new design to market as it is still in the stage of experiment and its disadvantages are to be studied yet, he added.

The chandranki can’t be kept in the sun and maintenance may be a little difficult even in winter. But it will be further modified to suit the extreme weather conditions, Chandru said.

“As there is labour crisis in the sector, such innovations have become a necessity,” he said.

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