New Indian Express has a status report as well as suggestions. Following are some excerpts.

… As per Central Silk Board, the nodal agency looking at silk production in India, Orissa’s strength lies in its lustrous ‘Vanya’ variety that can even give China, the largest producer of silk in the world, a run for its money.

Currently, Vanya silk’s share is 11 percent of the total production in the country and Orissa is a major growing region. But the State has been doing it half-heartedly.

It is also the third largest producer of Tasar silk in the country. Widely used as furnishings and interiors, Tasar has very high demand in the US and European Union.

Tasar’s USP of colour-variety provides a blooming high value market but for Orissa’s inability to tap potential, it loses a good amount of foreign exchange. Nationally, sericulture provides employment to over 60 lakh people involving over seven lakh farmers in 59,000 villages.

In comparison, Orissa looks quite pallid as the production of raw silk naturally accounts for a measly 0.1 percent of the country’s production at 22 tonne.

The number of silk farmers is a mere 0.8 percent of the national figure. Raw silk production in Jharkhand is nearly 13 times and in Chhattisgarh nearly 9-10 times more than that of Orissa.

What is of more concern is that vital parameters like area under silk cultivation, raw silk production and a number of farmers engaged, are seeing a continuous decline.

The textile futures see a bright prospect for silk in the coming years. China is at present realising a price value of over USD 31 a kg, a rise from USD 29 a kg in 2005, riding on rising demand in the Western countries.

… The State needs to seize the initiative soon as the international demand is accompanied by growth in domestic consumption of silk, due to rise in the middle class population. And, India is the largest consumer of silk in the world.