Government eyeing sericulture as the ‘Jesus’ to Ugandan farmers’ biting povertyMarch 11, 2022
Seri-tribute to the Parish Development ModelMarch 24, 2022
Silkworm rearing is very interesting however, one could also experience a few challenges like diseases as a farmer but, these can still be avoided if one is cautious.
Just like in any other type of farming, say poultry farming, silkworm rearing needs to be handled with a lot of care for one to get the best production, this therefore, makes hygiene a vital in every stage of silkworm rearing.
Experts in silkworm rearing at Tropical institute of Development Innovations advise that, a silkworm farmer has to maintain good hygiene to prevent silkworm infections and diseases like glassarie and mascardine from attacking the worms which are the commonest in Uganda.
Godfrey Kansiime, a Rearing Manager at the Tropical Institute of Development Innovations (TRIDI), who has been participating in the rearing of silkworms for twenty-two years in Sheema District, currently deployed at Rubaare sericulture station, says that, maintaining hygiene in silkworm rearing contributes a lot on the silk production.
“The commonest diseases and infections among silkworms in Uganda, include, Glassarie and Mascardine, but prevention for their spread in the rearing house can be easily solved through thorough disinfection and maintenance of proper hygiene in and out of the rearing house. Make it habit, like you do in eating that you have to wash hands before you eat, wash hands before entering a rearing house or touching anything in the rearing house, then also after leaving it, wash your hands again. This will generally help solve most of the disease challenges,” Mr. Kansiime said during a Silkworm Rearing and Cocoon Production Training, organized by the Office of Partnerships and Capacity for all rearing managers attached to TRIDI.
This event was held at TRIDI’s Head office in Kyabakadde, Mukono, and the move is aimed at ensuring better silk production in the country, through enhancement and improvement of inhouse production levels..
‘’Those entering the rearing houses should leave their shoes outside and put on clean slippers before going in. After removing the diseased silkworms, one should dig a pit and bury them there. Do not just throw them anyhow because you may end up stepping on them and bring back the disease into the rearing house and you infect the remaining healthy silkworms.’’ Kansiime further explains.
He says that, once one notices that the silkworms are restless, not eating, change of color, running outside, then these could be signs that the silkworms are sick and need to be sorted and separated from the healthy ones, thereafter, treatment effected to prevent the rest from being affected too.
He also advises that there should be a leaf chamber where the mulberry leaves collected for feeding the silkworms are kept.
According to Tom Kyebanankolanga, a rearing manager and silkworm farmer in Kamuli District, few visitors should let be let into the rearing houses, because many of them could infect the silkworms with diseases, due to the fact that they could have stepped in places with infections.
Mr. Tom also calls upon farmers to cease from feeding the worms on dry leaves and embrace feeding them on the green mulberry so that they can get all the protein contents needed for them to produce high quality silk.
Peace Bisikwa , a rearing manager at TRIDI’s sericulture station in Buikwe, says that if one wants to avoid having many deaths in silkworm rearing, one should sprinkle lime floor every morning, and also on the worms before feeding them every day.
She also stresses on minimizing on the number of visitors who enter the rearing rooms and encourages feeding them in time and frequently for better production.
There are four known types of diseases that attack the silkworms including Glassarie, Mascardine, Pebrine and Fracharie.
However, the ones that attack silk worms in Uganda are Glassarie and Mascardine.
Experts encourage farmers to use preventive measures in ensuring the silkworms are not attacked by diseases because no cure has been found yet.
Article by Rebecca Mutonyi, Edited by Mercy Scarlet Kigai