Study indicates Sericulture diversification in Uganda

Researchers at Tropical Institute of Development Innovations (TRIDI), have found out that Sericulture is one of the key agro-based industries for socio-economic development of Uganda.

The research was published by International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 11, Issue 9, September 2021.

According to research findings, Uganda is endowed with great developing aspects and sericulture is one the fast-development trigger, the country has embraced for her future economic development.

The Commercialization of Sericulture Technologies and Innovations project in the country, is spearheaded by TRIDI, which has set up over 32 stations, in 24 Districts in the country.

The researchers note that, Sericulture, is an agro-based industry which, mainly focuses at rearing of silkworms, with the main objective of silk production, a natural fibre obtained from domesticated silkworm known as Bobyx Moryx.

Silkworms. Photo by Mercy Scarlet Kigai

Sericulture industry being both a small and large scale industry enhances sustainable livelihood of rural communities, by uplifting social and economic aspects of farmers.

Both rural and urban communities have benefited from sericulture through, direct and indirect employment, as they engage in the valuable activities such as mulberry production and cultivation, silkworm rearing, silkworm egg production, cocoon reeling, silk, fabric production as well as marketing of silk products.

Sericulture has continued to serve as an effective source of income to resource different individuals and households.

TRIDI currently employs a total of 85 technical staff plus 632 casual labourers on her different sericulture sites, who are employed directly in Mulberry plantations, all these employees earn a living in form of salaries and wages from sericulture.

Some of the individuals employed in the TRIDI Team. Photo by Mercy Scarlet Kigai

The project has a great aspect of natural resource utilization and realization of different environment valuables like land eco-restoration and bioremediation, air purification, carbon sequestration and conservation of soil and water, mainly attributed to mulberry production and afforestation.

Mulberry plant extracts are used traditionally, as medicine to treat different health ailments thus improving human health.

A Mulberry Plant. Photo by Mercy Scarlet Kigai

The extracts are used to develop medicines to help treat diabetes, impotence, sinusitis, arthritis, cyst growth, epididymitis, tissue regeneration, cancer, post-surgical trauma. Other benefits include; anti-oxidative, bio-adhesives, ultra-violet screens, anti-wrinkle, anti-aging.

Sericulture benefits go way beyond to provide a nutritious edibility through Silk protein, mulberry leaves that act both as human and food, thereby boosting one’s immunity and livestock production respectively.

This has been achieved in two different ways namely feeding Mulberry leaves by both humans and animals; and processing of silkworm secondary products like pupae to make livestock feeds.

Mulberry leaves can be used for food purposes by both humans and livestock. Photo by Mercy Scarlet Kigai

Mulberry leaves being easily digestible, can be fed on, as supplement to boost milk production from dairy animals.

In the farming world, intercropping Mulberry with our daily cultivated crops like maize, beans, among others; has had a good number of benefits including; soil fertility improvement, soil and water conservation, environmental sustainability hence boosting economy, through improved productivity.

The silk industry has had an impeccable boost on different economies in the world like China, India, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan; who are the world’s largest producers and beneficiaries of Silk.

INSERCO records over 7.9 million employed in India, about 1 million in China, and 20,000 silk weaving families in Thailand.

China is a greatly independent economy and should be the one look-up for Uganda in her poverty and high unemployment eradication goals.

It is evidential that the economic development in these countries has received a great lean-on from the silk-production industry, which the Government of Uganda is emulating by rendering an effortless boost to TRIDI’s sericulture project, so as to realise the diverse benefits of silk production among citizens.

More details about the research

Story Compiled by Mercy Scarlet Kigai, P.R.O

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