Silk Reeling: Uganda imports engineers from China to assemble machines

Uganda has brought in two engineers from China, who were flown in to the country via the Ethiopian airways, to install silk processing machines.

The engineers from China are set to assemble post-cocoon processing machines, that have already been launched in Rubaare, Sheema District.

The Chinese Engineers, Mr. Chen Tianjun and Mr. Xu Jianjin, are experts who are going to not only assemble these machines, but also train Ugandans in installation, operation and maintenance of the silk processing machinery.

The equipment which was procured from China were earlier cleared by Uganda customs, released by Uganda Revenue Authority after verification earlier on last month, had already been delivered to the installation sites.

The Chinese engineers Mr. Chen Tianjun and Mr. Xu Jianjin have been joined by their fellow, Mr. Li Chao, who has already been based in the country, to begin training young Ugandan engineers to install the Machinery.

This will ensure transfer of knowledge and skills to Ugandans for sustainability and prosperity.  

The Chinese Engineers are in the Country under a joint arrangement or partnership between Government of Uganda, through Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MoSTI), Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) and Tropical Institute of Development of Development Innovations (TRIDI).

These Institutions have come together to implement the “Commercialization of Sericulture Technologies and Innovations in Uganda” project, which is one of the 17 projects, that were funded by HE President Yoweri Museveni Innovation fund of 2017/2018.

The Innovation fund comes in after Government of Uganda (GoU), through the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy (2009), realized that innovations are critical for socio-economic growth and transformation.

Research and Innovation are necessary for a strong and competitive industrial base, to create employment and ensure a resilient economy.

It is against this background, therefore, that Tropical Institute of Development Innovations received funding for the Commercialization of Sericulture Technologies and Innovations Project in Uganda.

The project is implemented across its entire Sericulture Industry Value Chain Cycle, which has nine (9) stages: Mulberry Cultivation, Construction of grainage (Silkworm egg production house), Construction of Silk worm rearing houses, Silkworm rearing, Construction of structures for reeling based on the specifications of the reeling and re-reeling machines, Installation of Reeling and other post cocoon processing equipment plus training the technicians on how to operate them, Twisting and dying operations, Silk products and silk trade of commercialization of the innovations, and Support Services for Silk value chain (SVC).

Sericulture Industry provides both direct and indirect employment.

Direct employment includes Mulberry Cultivation, Leaf Harvesting, Silk Worm Rearing, Reeling, Twisting, Weaving, Printing & Dyeing, Finishing, and Silk Waste Processing.

The indirect Employment involves the traders, and rearing house construction, and marketing.

Advanced post cocoon machines arrive in Sheema District Last Month

Sericulture is an eco-friendly agro-based labor intensive and commercially attractive economic activity, falling under cottage and small-scale sector.

Sericulture enterprise in its totality is a long chain industry from mulberry cultivation to fabric making.

Sericulture is the only cash crop, which provides frequent and attractive returns throughout the year.

We have engaged an expert manufacturer of silk machinery, to manufacture for us automatic silk reeling machines based on our own specifications and demand.  

With the coming of these engineers, 24 Ugandan experts will benefit from this exercise when they gain knowledge on exactly what to do, and in future, pass it on to other Ugandans, which will be of great benefit to the the entire nation.

Once machine installation is done, production will commence immediately as each 40 end automatic silk reeling factory, will produce grade AA silk yarn worth USD74,000 (ugx278,000,000/=) per month.

Approximately 400 kgs of cocoons shall be processed per day giving us approximately 60kgs of grade A silk yarn. 

The target is to have 50 such factories across the country.

This will contribute to government of Uganda strategy if creating jobs, and growing the economy. 

The Project overall target, is to sustainably transfer new technologies that will contribute to increased economic growth by 5% for improved household incomes, job creation / employment in Uganda within five years.

TRIDI appreciates all partners that cut across the entire value chain of Sericulture and consequently have partners for funding which include; investors including individuals, government of Uganda, private foundations, international organizations and regional development banks.

TRIDI has partners in implementation and these include; universities, local governments, religious bodies among others.

The Organistaion also has partners for research and development, post cocoon processing, and marketing.

With these partnerships TRIDI hopes the project will contribute to the world’s number one fibre – silk, the queen of fabrics and this shall create jobs and contribute to developing Ugandan economy.

By Clet Wandui Masiga, Mercy Scarlet Kigai

Chinese engineers arrive in Uganda to install silk processing machines and train Ugandans to install, operate and maintenance of silk processing machinery

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