Commercialization of Sericulture Technologies and Innovations

Project Background

Commercialization of Sericulture Technologies and Innovations in Uganda project was part of the innovation projects which were supported by Innovation Fund in the FY2017/2018 in accordance with guidelines from H.E The President of the Republic of Uganda to support scientists to commercialize their innovations.
Since it’s inception, this project is partly supported by the Government of Uganda through The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MoSTI) and supervised by The Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST).

Sericulture: is the art and science of rearing of silkworms for the production of raw silk and its end product is silk. Silk is a natural protein fibre, some forms of which can be woven into textiles.
The protein fibre of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons. Sericulture has become an important cottage industry in the world today creating employment for millions of rural and urban people.
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 y

Sericulture Industry provides classified employment generational pattern of the industry into two major types:

  1. A. Direct Employment;
    1. 1. Mulberry Cultivation,
    2. 2. Leaf Harvesting,
    3. 3. Silk Worm Rearing,
    4. 4. Reeling,
    5. 5. Twisting,
    6. 6. Weaving,
    7. 7. Printing & Dyeing,
    8. 8. Finishing,
    9. 9. Silk Waste
  2. B. Indirect Employment;
    1. 1. Traders,
    2. 2. Rearing House Construction,
    3. 3. Marketing

Sericulture value chain  

The Sericulture Industry Value Chain Cycle (SIVCC) or Distinctive Segments (DSs) is as follows:

Stage 1: Mulberry Cultivation,
Stage 2: Construction of grainage (Silkworm egg production house),
Stage 3: Construction of Silk worm rearing houses,
Stage 4: Silkworm rearing,
Stage 5: Construction of structures for reeling based on the specifications of the reeling and re-reeling machines,
Stage 6: Installation of Reeling and other post cocoon processing equipment and training technicians on how to operate them,
Stage 7: Twisting and dying operations,
Stage 8: Silk products and silk trade of commercialization of the innovations,
Stage 9: Support Services for Silk value chain (SVC).

Sericulture value chain

Stage 1: Mulberry cultivation

Mulberry Cutting

Mullberry Leaves Animal feeds

Stage 2: Grainage

Construction of grainage

(silkworm egg production house)

Stage 3: Construction

Construction of Silkworm rearing house

Stage 4: Silkworm rearing

Silkworm eggs

Stage 5: Construction

Construction of structures for reeling based on the specifications of reeling and re-reeling machines

Stage 6: Reeling Machines

Installation of Reeling and other post cocoon processing equipment and training the technicians on how to operate them.

Stage 7: Twisting and dyeing operations

Stage 8: Silk products

Silk products and silk trade of commercialisation of the innovations

Stage 9: Support services

Support services for Silk Value Chain

Project vision

Increase industrialization and export Development through sustainable adoption of Sericulture technologies and innovations in Uganda.

Project mission

To achieve excellence in utilization of Next Generation Research Outputs (NGRO’s) to transform Uganda’s sericulture industry from subsistence to sustainable commercial production.

Project Aim and goal  

The project aims at promoting the development of Silk Industry to create gainful employment and improved levels of income in Sericulture through utilization of Next Generation Sericulture Technologies, Innovations and Management Practices (NGSTIMPs). This project also aims at increasing domestic production of Silk and its by-products, thus raising rural incomes for small-holder producers and ensuring the supply of affordable silk products to Ugandan consumers and export markets.

Project objectives

  1. 1. 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
  2. 2. To commercialize sericulture technologies and innovations in Ugandans
  3. 3. Popularization of Sericulture activities to enhance the income of rural areas especially,
  4. 4. To advise the Government of Uganda on all matters relating to the development of silk industry including utilization and export of raw silk

Project Outcomes and Activities

Expected outcomes

  • 1. Increased transfer and adoption of new technologies into commercial
  • 2. Increased acreage of under mulberry from 200 acres to 50,000
  • 3. Increased production of silk yarn from 0 kgs to 2,200 metric tonnes
  • 4. Enhanced integration of science and technology into the National Development
  • 5. Sericulture Research and Technology Transfer Centers equipped with state-of-the-art
  • Farmers and extension workers trained with production

Project Activities   

  • 1. Conduct research for commercialization of Sericulture Technologies and
  • 2. Establish demonstrations for uptake of Sericulture Technologies and
  • 3. Baseline assessment of the current Sericulture eco-system (institutions, farmers and infrastructure) in the zone.
  • 4. Create awareness on Sericulture Technologies and Innovations among the rural communities of establishment and commercialization of silk worm egg production facilities and training of silk farmers and extension staff
  • 4. Bivoltine Sericulture in the Conduct research on evaluating Sericulture germ-plasm resources for mulberry and silkworm breeding and diseases free egg
  • 5. Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and sharing
  • 6. Information and
  • 7. Environment and social safeguard

Achievements of Commercialization of Sericulture Technologies and Innovations

  1. 1. A total of 2,000 acres for the Sericulture project have been acquired so far. New land has also been acquired in Kayunga-400 acres, Nwoya-170 acres, Bukedeya-50 acres and Kween-100 acres. Target acreage is 50,000 acres.
    2. Installation of the first set of the next generation equipment for post cocoon technologies and innovations along side capacity building of Ugandans to operate these processing lines is almost complete in Sheema and Kween. Silkworm rearing has been initiated and a total of more than 7000 kgs has been harvested since last year.
    3. A total of 2,000 acres has been acquired in 26 districts and over 39 stations established 2 of these in Kween and Sheema respectively have post cocoon processing factories, All the 39 stations have the capacity to rear silkworms and produce cocoons

Economics of sericulture in Uganda  

In developing countries, agriculture and agro-based industries play a vital role in the improvement of rural economy. Uganda is endowed with abundant natural resources and thus scientific agricultural development can contribute to the gross economic product to a greater extent. The limited availability of land, the limited cash returns and agriculture being confined to one or two seasons in a year have created the need to look for supporting rural industries such as Sericulture. Among the agro-based rural industries, sericulture occupies an enviable point of view of providing gainful employment and additional income.

Sericulture, the process of silk production, is an-agro based industry which can play an eminent role in the rural economy of Uganda. Sericulture can play a vital role in the Ugandan economy in transfer of wealth from the richer to the poorer sections of the society. The affluent class mostly consumes silk products and the value of the final fabric is distributed among all the intermediaries such as farmers, reelers, twisters, weavers and traders. Sericulture has the potential of becoming one of the most important rural industries due to certain inherent advantages like minimum gestation period constant and periodic returns throughout the year.

In commercial production, an acre of Sericulture Industry Value Chain offers a minimum of six (6) (1 for mulberry cultivation, 2 in Silkworm rearing, 1 in post cocoon technology, 1 in making silk fabric and 1 in Marketing of the silk fabric) job opportunities. At an average of UGX: 300,000 per worker per month, each worker in sericulture industry will earn UGX: 3,600,000 from one acre of cultivated land by selling silk yarn. Going up the value chain; each kilogram of silk yarn produces 9.3 meters of pure silk cloth (grey fabric) whose price ranges from USD: 10 to about USD: 20 per meter. 180 kilograms of yarn can produce 1,674 meters which at a rate of USD: 10/meter results into USD: 16,740. A farmer when provided with a handloom for weaving cloth can thus earn USD: 16,740 equivalent to UGX: 62,775,000 from one acre by selling silk cloth but can even earn more if gets better price for the cloth especially if there is a mixture of mulberry yarn with yarn/threads from wild silk.

In summary an adequately trained and supported farmer can approximately earn UGX: 8 million from selling mulberry leaves and cuttings, UGX: 14 million from selling cocoons, UGX: 34 million selling yarn and UGX: 63 million from selling fabric all from having one acre of mulberry, a rearing house, a pedal/hand-reeling machine and a hand-loom. The benefit can be higher if tailored clothes are sold.

Cost benefit analysis of leaf and cocoon production from one acre per year

Higher productivity and consequently higher returns are the guiding factors for any venture. Investing in Sericulture has long been known for its higher returns as compared to other cash crops such as coffee, cotton, sugar cane, tea and tobacco.

Table 1: Establishment Cost of 1 Acre of Mulberry Garden (Year 1)

S/No.

Particulars

Qty

Rate(Ugx)

Value(Ugx)

A Variable production costs

   

1.

First ploughing with a tractor

  

122,500

2.

Second ploughing

  

95,000

3.

Harrowing

  

73,750

4.

Mulberry Cuttings(bags)

8

30,000

240,000

5.

Planting

  

82,500

6.

Weeding

6

80,000

480,000

7.

Chemicals (pesticides,

insecticides and fungicides)

  

100,000

8.

Miscellaneous expenditures

  

119,375

Total production costs                                                               1,313,125

B. Returns

1.

Mulberry leaves (Kgs)

16,000

200

3,200,000

2.

Mulberry cuttings(bags)

150

30,00

4,500,000

B.Returns

7,700,000

Net Returns

6,386,875

The mulberry yield gradually increases as the garden ages and it reaches the maximum yield in the 3rd year.

 Table 2: Investment on Buildings and Equipment for Rearing 300 Dfls (6 Boxes) Per Cycle.

S/ N

Rearing building / equipment

No. / Qty required

Value (Ugx)

1.

Late age rearing house and shoot store room(20ftx50ft)

01

13,000,000

 

Total

01

13,000,000

B.

Equipment

01

 

1.

Sprayer

01

70,000

2.

Room heater (Local stove)

01

40,000

3.

Charcoal

5bags

250,000

4.

Plastic [email protected]

02

250,000

5.

Leaf collecting [email protected] 20,000

02

250,000

6.

Wooden Shoot rearing rack
(45ft x 5f, 4 tier) @ 50,000=

06

300,000

7.

Nylon net

1

20,000

20.

Plastic collapsible mountage @5000

120

500,000

22.

Plastic [email protected] 10,000=

02

20,000

 

Hand thermometer

01

20,000

 

Music

01

1,395,000

 

Depreciation on Rearing
house and equipment

01

963,000

 

Total

 

3,729,000

 

Grand Total

 

16,729,000

Table 3: Costs and Return Structure in Cocoon Production For Rearing 300 Dfls or 6 Boxes per for 6 Cycles

No.

Particulars

Qty

Rate(Ugx)

Cost/ Revenue (Ugx)

A. Variable costs

1

Dfls/ boxes of silkworms

36

20,000

720,000

2

Materials (paraffin, paper and newspaper) and disinfectants (bleaching powder, chlorine dioxide and bed disinfectant ‘lime’)

  

700,000

3

Labor for 6 months (2 people*6months)

12

200,000

2,400,000

4

Transportation and marketing

  

600,000

5

Miscellaneous

  

442,000

Total variable costs                                                                  5,825,000

B.        Fixed Costs

6

Maintenance on Rearing House and Equipment

  

963,000

Total Costs

  

5,825,000

C. Revenue

7

Cocoon yield per cycle(kg)

180

13,000

2,340,000

8

Cocoon production per annum(kg)

180

13,000

14,040,000

9

Income from by – products

  

702,000

Total revenue

14,742,000

Net revenue

8,917,000

Benefit: Cost Ratio

2.53

*1 box = 50dfls    *1 dfl = 300 eggs       *1 cocoon = 2gms

Note: 7-8 cycle are possible Dfl (Disease free laying)

Table 4: Cost Return Structure in Raw Silk Production Using a 40 Ends Automatic Reeling Machine

Per Month(20 Days)

S/No.

Details

Unit

Quantity

Price/Unit (Ugx)

Amount

Procurement of Cocoons

1

Cocoons

Kg

8,000

13,000

104,000,000

2

Packing materials

Nos

100

1,500

150,000

3

Loading/Unloading

   

200,000

4

Transportation cost of cocoons

Kg

8,000

1,000

8,000,000

104,000,000

5

Miscellaneous

   

11,235,000

Total                                                                                          123,585,000

Processing

Labour Charges(Monthly)

6

Reeling

Nos

8

200,000

1,600,000

7

Sorting and grading

Nos

2

200,000

400,000

8

Wastage+Cleaning

Nos

2

150,000

300,000

9

Winding

Nos

4

200,000

800,000

10

Cooking

Nos

2

200,000

800,000

11

Brushing

Nos

4

200,000

800,000

12

Supervisor

Nos

1

200,000

250,000

13

Byproduct and packaging

Nos

2

200,000

300,000

14

Electricity

   

100,000

15

Water

   

50,000

Total processing costs                                                                    5,000,000

 

Maintenance Costs

16

Reelng Equipment

and facilities Maintenance

   

2,333,333

Marketing cost of raw silk

17

Transportation cost of raw silk

  

200,000

1,333,333

18

Packing materials

  

200,000

30,000

19

Loading and unloading

   

200,000

9

Miscellaneous

   

156,333

Total Marketing Costs of raw silk

1,719,667

Total Expenditure

132,638,000

 Table 5: Cost Benefit Analysis of Raw Silk Production Using a 40 Ends Automatic Reeling Machine Per Month (20 Days)

S/No.

Details

Amount

1.

Total Expenditure

132,638,000

2.

Total Returns

277,938,118

Net Returns(Ugx)

145,300,118

Net Returns(USD)

38,747

Benefit:Cost Ratio

2.1

 Cost And Return Structure Of Twisted Silk(Fabric) Production In Twisting Unit Machine Per Month(20 Days)

Table 6: Costs in Silk Fabric Production

S/No.

Details

Unit

Quantity

Price/Unit (Ugx)

Amount

Processing

Labour Charges

1

Winders

Nos

6

200,000

1,200,000

2

Doubler

Nos

6

200,000

1,200,000

3

Twister

Nos

6

200,000

1,200,000

4

Re-reeler

Nos

6

200,000

800,000

5

Electricity Bills

   

100,000

Total processing charges

   

4,500,000

Maintanance Costs

6

Re-Reeling Equipment and facilities Maintenance

   

1,000,000

Marketing

6

Transportation cost twisted silk/Frabric

Meters

12,401

250

3,100,250

7

Packing materials

Nos

250

1,500

375,000

Miscellaneous

   

347,525

Total marketing costs

   

3,822,775

Total Expenditures

   

8,322,775

 Table 7: Returns from Twisted Silk Production (Silk Fabric) Per Month(20 Days)

S/No.

Details

Unit

Quantity

Price/Unit (USD)

 

Amount

Main Product

1

Twisted Silk/Fabric

Meters

12,401

10

124,010

By Product

2

Wastage of silk

Kgs

30.04

15

451

Total(USD)                                                                                 124,461

Total(Ugx)                                                                                 466,727,193

*1 kg of Fabric = 4.17m of fabric

*1Usd = 3,750Ugx

*1kg of yam = 9.3m of fabric

Table 10: Cost Benefit Analysis Of Twisted Silk Production(Silk Fabric) Per Month(20 Days)

Details

Amount (Ugx)

Total Expenture

8,322,755

Total Expenture

466,727,193

Net Returns(Ugx)

458,404,418

Net Returns(USD)

122,241

 

Achievements of Commercialization of Sericulture Technologies and Innovations

  1. 1. A total of 2,000 acres for the Sericulture project have been acquired so far. New land has also been acquired in Kayunga-400 acres, Nwoya-170 acres, Bukedeya-50 acres and Kween-100 acres. Target acreage is 50,000 acres.
    2. Installation of the first set of the next generation equipment for post cocoon technologies and innovations along side capacity building of Ugandans to operate these processing lines is almost complete in Sheema and Kween. Silkworm rearing has been initiated and a total of more than 7000 kgs has been harvested since last year.
    3. A total of 2,000 acres has been acquired in 26 districts and over 39 stations established 2 of these in Kween and Sheema respectively have post cocoon processing factories, All the 39 stations have the capacity to rear silkworms and produce cocoons

Benefits of sericulture in Uganda

The social benefits of sericulture in Uganda.

  1. High employment potential: Generates employment throughout the year, with an estimated 11 people employed for each 1 kg of raw silk production.
  2. Employment on both on and off-farm activities.
  3. Maintains and strengthens rural economies: More than 80% of the gross value of silk fabrics returns to the local area of production (to cocoon growers, reelers, twisters and weavers)

Environmentally friendly.

Mulberry is a perennial crop. It contributes to soil conservation and provides green cover Waste from silkworm rearing, is recyclable for agricultural use Dried mulberry twigs and branches can be used as fuel. Mulberry can be cultivated in areas of often unused land, e.g. hill slopes and watersheds.

More benefits of the project.  

Total investment over a period of five years is 775 billion Ugandan Shillings including; establishment of Sericulture Research and Technology Transfer Centers in Western, Central, Eastern and Northern Uganda. Returns will be more than one Trillion shillings per year. If Uganda can master silk fabric technology and tailoring, the benefits will be more than 5 Trillion shillings over a period of five years and there after UGX: 1.322 Trillion annually. Full time employment worth UGX: 105 Billion annually will be created and over 50.000 casual jobs worth UGX: 200 Billion annually.

Employment on both on and off-farm activities. 60% of those employed in sericulture are women. Rural economies will be maintained and strengthened. This is because more than 80% of the gross value of silk fabrics returns to the local area of production (to cocoon growers, reelers, twisters and weavers).

Job opportunities along the Sericulture Value Chain

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The project implementation model.

Our approach is guided by the baseline and feasibility study that we conducted which identified 10 entry districts and 40 other districts for up-scaling the project. Eventually the project will cover the entire country. As an entry point, we normally request to use public land or land that belongs to a given community and or church or land belonging to a religious community.
This is to ensure that there are minimum volumes required to sustain extension and agro-processing facilities during project commercialization. Using this model, activities are sustained in the absence of funding from government and or external funding. It is run on a business model and it is profit-oriented. It is a model which combines nucleus farmer approach and commercial farming approaches.

Nucleus farm model: is a large farm unit (plantation, large-scale farm) which guarantees a certain minimum provision of raw material for a large-scale processing plant or other downstream aggregation use, while the other part of the raw material is procured from smaller farmers who are linked through out-grower arrangements to the nucleus.
Nucleus model combines a commercial farm with a program that works with nearby farmers, called out-growers, allowing TRIDI greater control over its product while still leaving room to foster and train local small-scale farmers in Sericulture production. The goal is to establish a production hubs of Sericulture Industries benefiting both TRIDI and local farmers.
A nucleus farmer under this model is an exemplary farmer at village level, who has adopted best practices of farming and acts a model where farmers access technology and common user facilities.

Using this arrangement, the project avoids organizing the procurement from a large number of farmers and this means reducing the associated high costs. In addition, the project avoids risk in contract farming which is side-selling, where farmers sell to other buyers for various reasons – better price, avoidance of repayment of credits, better (i.e. more rapid) payment conditions, and social obligations. In addition, the reliance on a smaller region for procurement, while reducing transport and communication costs, increases risks from crop failures due to local adverse weather or pest events, more so if farmers do not have means such as irrigation, knowledge or to pesticides to control at least a part of these production risks. This model avoids pure large-scale farming, by requiring fewer land acquisitions, distributing wealth more equitably, disturb rural social structures less radically, and have a higher support from governments. Compared to pure contract farming, procurement is less risky and internal transaction costs are lower. Using this model, TRIDI enters into a memorandum of understanding with the land owner who provides the land and TRIDI develops the land and is responsible for the implementation and management of all the activities. The profits are determined in accordance to the overall contribution made by each party (one party being the land owner and the other being TRIDI or as determined by change of share capital from time to time).

9.1 Project Coverage

To enhance commercial production, there has been mulberry plantation establishment, management and production at 25 stations in 18 districts i.e. Sheema, Mbarara, Kiruhura, Bulambuli, Kamuli, Mubende, Mukono, Iganga, Luweero, Kayunga, Nakaseke, Kween, Bukedea, Zombo, Nwoya, Buikwe, Pallisa, Busia on a total of 627.92 acres. The project will expand to cover 50 districs and potential sites are to be established in Lira, Amolatar, and Otuke districts.

Silkworm rearing has so far been carried out in 6 districts i.e. Sheema, Mukono, Kamuli, Pallisa, Iganga and Kayunga.

Table 8: Land under mulberry production in Uganda

No.

District

Sub county

Village

1.

Sheema

Municipality

Rubare

2.

Sheema

Muhito south

Kibingo

3.

Mbarara

Bubaale

Rushasha

4.

Kiruhura

Kashongi

Bynamira

5.

Bulambuli

Bulenga

Kamu

6.

Bulambuli

Buginyanya

Masira

7.

Kamuli

Butansi

Naluwoli

8.

Mubende

Kalonga

Kiryamirizi

9.

Mubende

Kijjumba

Lwembogo

10.

Mukono

Kyampisi

Namasumbi

11.

Iganga

Nawandala

Nawandala

12.

Luwero

Ndejje

Kasambya

13.

Kayunga

Bbale

Misanga C

14.

Nakaseke

Ssemuto

Kufu

15.

Nakaseke

Kapeka

Togo

16.

Kween

Chepsikunya

Chepkutwo

17.

Bukedea

Kachumbala

Obur

18

Bukedea

Kachumbala

Amus-Sapir

19.

Zombo

Atyak

Winam

20

Zombo

Zombo town Council

Patek

21

Zombo

Atyak

Omoyo

22

Nwoya

Todora

Obira Upper

23

Buikwe

Ssi

Lukubo

24

Pallisa

Agule

Pasia

25

Busia

Busitema

Busitema University

Our Partners

Our partners cut across the entire value chain of Sericulture and consequently we have partners for funding which include; investors including individuals, governments, private foundations, international organizations and regional development banks. We also have part- ners at implementation which include; universities, local governments, religious bodies among others. We also have partners for research- and development, post cocoon processing, and marketing.

 

We use grants and funds we get from; donors, well-wishers and individuals as seed money for exploring a business opportunity, supply working capital for a business plan or provide assistance in other ways.

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