Uganda has intensified efforts to ensure growth of the silk industry to raise export earnings. A project called ‘commercialisation of sericulture technologies and innovations’ is being implemented by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) with assistance from the Tropical Institute of Development Innovations (TRIDI).
China and India, the world’s biggest producers of silk, are now producing less silk worm than the market demand.
Principal investigator the project Clet Wandui Masiga said Uganda has sound scope to reap from the project being piloted in Bushenyi district. If well-harnessed, the project could bring Sh 350 billion into the country annually and create 50,000 direct jobs, Masiga said.
Shortage of skilled labour and the reduction in farmland available for mulberry cultivation due to growing urbanisation are the two main problems, an Ugandan newspaper report quoted him as saying.
The project is being implemented under the 2008 National Industrial Policy and the 2010 National Textile Policy. The government will provide community rearing houses where farmers can grow mulberry and feed the worms at the rearing house at a cost. (DS)