Sericulture is the production of raw silk by raising silkworms. The technique of silk production is an agro-industry which plays a crucial role in the rural economy of India. The art of sericulture was first developed in China. It was introduced for the first time into China by Hoshomin, the Queen of China. India is the second largest producer of silk in the world, after China. After independence, the industry is flourishing as an agro-industry, giving employment to over 3.5 million people in the country.
The largest consumer of Indian silk is Germany. Southern states such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are the major sericulturists in the country. Apart, Assam, West Bengal and several north-eastern states are also engaged in this cultivation.