Anantapur: Even as the production of silk cocoon was hit due to rise in mercury levels, prices were not satisfactory for the silk farmers across AP, Telangana and Karnataka.
In Anantapur and Kurnool districts, mercury-level has been touching 43.4 degree Celsius resulting in crops withering in the scorching sun. The silkworms are also not able to survive in this hot summer.
Normally, the silkworms can survive at 280C, usual room temperature, till formation of cocoons. Silk farmers are not happy with the price being offered for their produce in AP. Hindupur is the biggest market for AP and Telangana silkworm farmers while Karnataka has Ramanagaram and Sidlaghatta, Tamil Nadu has Dharmapuri market, specially meant for cocoons.
On Monday, cross breed cocoons were sold at Rs 300 a kg while the minimum price was Rs 197. The average price was recorded at Rs 247 a kg.
But the same produce is fetching farmers a maximum of Rs 393 and a minimum of Rs 220 a kg, putting the average at Rs 329 at Sidlaghatta market in Karnataka.
At the Ramanagaram market, the cross breed cocoons are being sold at a maximum of Rs 355 a kg and a minimum of Rs 238 and an average of Rs 307 on Monday.
Similarly, byvoltine hybrid cocoons were sold at a maximum price of Rs 351 a kg, a minimum price of Rs 249 at Hindupur market. The same quality of cocoons were sold at Rs 421 a kilo at Ramanag-aram market and Rs 351 in Sidlagatta market.
K. Ravi Kumar, a silk farmer from Atmakur in Kurnool district, said that they were not able to get affordable price this summer. “We have to take additional care for the silkworms to survive at all the stages by using water coolers and other additional facilities at the rearing sheds. I sold cocoons for dirt cheap at Hindupur market”, he said and stressed the need to increase the minimum support price during the summer season....