MIRPUR (AJK): Sericulture Department of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Entomology Department of Poonch University have decided to exchange bilateral cooperation for the promotion of Kashmiri sericulture cottage industry in the spirit of a vast and continuous program of poverty reduction throughout the liberated territory.
The two public sector institutions made the decision during a one-day workshop on capacity building for sericulture producers, organized by the AJK Sericulture Department at Poonch University in Rawalakot on Friday.
Sericulture is the traditional and home-based industry of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, established in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in 1951.
The awareness and training workshop on sericulture was attended by a large number of students, faculty members of the University and sericulture farmers, among others, as well as senior staff from the sericulture department of Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
Poonch University faculty members Dr. Junaid, Dr. Imran and Dr. Shahid also made special efforts to successfully organize the sericulture workshop, the director of the National Department of sericulture, Syed Asghar Ali Shah, at APP, outlining the objectives for holding the event.
Sardar Nasir Rahim, Dean of Poonch Rawalakot University, addressing the inaugural session, hailed the decision of the Department of Sericulture to partner with the faculty of the University for such an important and noble cause.
Deputy Director of Sericulture Tahir Masoud, Entomologist Research Center, Rizwan Ullah Khan, Deputy Director Fahad Keyani and ASDO Salaar Mehmood of Sericulture Department unveiled comprehensive presentations on the historical background of sericulture in the AJK since its emergence in the Liberated Territory, Impact of Sericulture on Livelihoods, Poverty Alleviation, Women Empowerment, National Economy and State Environment.
The presentations made by the officers of the sericulture department also highlighted various uses of mulberry and mulberry products, including medicine and silk clothing, etc.
Dr. Umer Ayyaz Shaikh, assistant professor in the Department of Entomology, also briefed on various diseases of silkworms and management plans to practically protect silkworm farming.
During the event, some prospective farmers also shared their practical experiences and appreciated the efforts of the sericulture department in training and providing necessary facilities to 1500 farmers in AJK.
Addressing the closing session of the event, Director of Sericulture Department of AJK, Syed Ali Asghar Shah said that the collaboration between Sericulture Department and Poonch University, also appreciated by the farmers by the participants, that the decision of the two institutions will be of great benefit to the farmers as well as the future of the sericulture industry in the state.
He pointed out that nature has endowed the state with a very ideal environment for planting mulberry trees and breeding silkworms. The collective efforts of the sericulture department and Poonch University will surely promote this traditional industry on a solid foundation, Shah sahib added.
The one-day event ended with an in-depth brainstorming session followed by the decision of the Department of Sericulture and the faculty of Poonch University to join together to promote sericulture in the state on the basis solid.
The authorities of the two institutions have decided to soon sign a memorandum of understanding for research and development in sericulture and various similar fields related to this former state cottage industry.