Government is planning to replicate lessons from Madagascar, Rwanda’s role model in sericulture production to improve the livelihoods for her people.
The move follows a recent visit to Madagascar by a six-man Rwanda delegation composed of farmers’ representatives, a researcher and officials from National Sericulture Centre (NSC).
“Because of the significance of silk in Madagascar’s culture, farmers have mastered the art and perfected the skills,” Pontiano Nemeye, the Coordinator of the NSC said in an interview.
He said that Madagascar proved that sericulture is possible on farmer’s level and fits well in all rural community activities.
He said that prices for cocoons and silk yarns are the best worldwide. In Madagascar fresh cocoons cost $7.5 compared to $3.5 per Kilo in Rwanda and silk yarn cost between $40 and $60 per Kilo considered the highest worldwide, the official said.
“Financial modules proven that sericulture can be three times more profitable than tea and two times than coffee per unit area of land cultivated, but the challenge is to prove this in Rwanda.”
Government through NSC intends to provide infrastructure, support to build rearing houses and give technical advice on standard rearing procedures. Also, a sensitization campaign will be carried out across the country to encourage farmers on how they can benefit from the product inline with government’s plans to improve sericulture industry.
Post cacoon rocessing to produce yarn and fabrics is another area of attention by the government to add value to the product.
Nemeye added that government in collaboration with development partners intends to buy simple tradition machinery affordable by farmers.
He noted that government will soon import 100 boxes of eggs from China or Korea which are good in sericulture. Each box contains 20,000 eggs and cost between $20 and $25.
“Sericulture can transform our rural communities through creation of jobs, improved households, contribute to the growth of national economy and if fully developed a good source of foreign exchange,” he said.
Government through NSC will build capacity of farmers to sustainably manage the sericulture industry.