Though India is among the top ten producers of wool in the world, domestic production is not sufficient to meet the entire requirements of the industry domestic and exports. Consider the following statements with this reference:
1. Most of the wool produced in India is of carpet grade
2. The average thickness of the wool produced in India is 36 microns
3. India has a very low wool yield
4. While India is dependent on Australia for its requirements for apparel grade wool, it is dependent on New Zealand for carpet grade wool.
Which among the above statements is / are correct?

Answer: [D] 1, 2, 3 & 4

Of the total wool produced in India, around 85% is carpet grade wool. Although India is among the top 10 producers of wool in the world, domestic production is not sufficient to meet the entire requirements of the industry (both for domestic and exports). The country imports wool from New Zealand to be used for blending with indigenous wool for the carpet sector. Wool yield in India is low – avg. 0.9 kg per sheep/ year, against a world avg. of 2.4 kg per sheep/ year (Australia: 4.5 kg). While domestic availability of wool remains a matter of concern, the quality of wool is also not up to the requirements of the Indian wool and woolen products industry, particularly for export purpose. Domestically produced wool is coarse and brittle in nature. Domestic production of wool is almost entirely broader micron wool, with an average thickness of about 36 microns. This makes the wool suitable mainly for the manufacture of carpets, rugs and other coarser products (85% of domestic production is of carpet grade wool). Apparel grade wool has a marginal share of 5% of annual wool production in India. As a result, the country is almost entirely dependent on Australia for importing Merino wool for apparel making. The dependence on imports makes the sector vulnerable to the vagaries of movement in international wool prices and fluctuating exchange rates. 5.4.13. Moreover, there exists inadequate and outdated processing facilities for growers of specialty fibres (e.g. Pashmina, Angora, etc), which affects the quality of the produce. Use of traditional shearing practices (hand shearing) affects the length and quality of fibre.

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