Government targets Rwf49, 6742 billion per year from the planting of 350,000 hectares of mulberry plantations to produce cocoons for silk products.
The projections are calculated from the impression that one hectare produces 19.2 metric tonnes per year valued at Rwf1.419 respectively at $3.3 per Kilogram.
In an interview with Peter Muvara Chairman of Rwanda Horticulture Development Authority (RHODA), sericulture is still challenged by rearing houses which are relatively expensive compared to the capacity of farmers. Muvara said that 250,000 houses are needed and each rearing house costs about Rwf12 million.
Government has pledged support to build houses while farmers provide non monetary facilities like stones, water, plots and blocks which would reduce on the cost of a rearing house.
Farmers are challenged by lack of access to loans in most commercial banks because of limited guarantee.
Currently a box of 20,000 eggs produce 24kgs of cocoons but a consultant was hired to improve on the quality and quantity of eggs. With the improved eggs a box of 20,000 eggs will produce 40 kilograms of cocoons.
“Competitive market of sericulture depends on the best quality of eggs and that’s why we want to embark on quality,” Muvara said.
Muvara urged farmers to exploit other sources of funding like the Rural Investment Facility (RIF2) a grant $10 million under that is available under the Ministry of Agriculture and Horticulture Investment and Expertise Fund (HIF).
HIF supports projects in production of horticulture products, processing and post harvest equipment and infrastructure and support services which include certification, feasibility studies and training with a total package of 1 million Euros.