Minagri to promote mulberry farming

The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (Minagri) has unveiled an ambitious plan to promote mulberry growing as part of the wider plans to elevate Rwanda into world class silk production nation.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (Minagri) has unveiled an ambitious plan to promote mulberry growing as part of the wider plans to elevate Rwanda into world class silk production nation.

This was disclosed by Janvier Gasasira, Strategic Plan for Agricultural Transformation in Rwanda (PSTA) Programme coordinator, while addressing local leaders in the Eastern Province.

Gasasira said that farmers would be organised and offered specialised training in sericulture (silk farming).

He said that mulberry farming in Rwanda was still on a small scale, noting that the Minagri was committed to supporting it.

“We shall interact with the farmers in raising silkworms. Mulberry plants, the only plant that silk worms feed on, will be available to farmers at low prices per seedling. Farmers in Eastern Province will be encouraged to invest in sericulture,” he said.

“Farmers will then be connected with buyers from large textile manufacturers around the world. It is a good business we want to start in this province”.

Enough space

Ambrose Ruboneza, the Mayor of Gatsibo District, reiterated the importance of starting mulberry farming for commercial purposes.

He said that districts had enough space to accommodate mulberry farming alongside other activities.

“We, as leaders, will sensitise farmers to go for the new venture…production diversification is very important. We have a dynamic community with people ready to to try it out. I am convinced they can succeed,” he said.

Callixte Rwanamiza, a local farmer, told The New Times that raising silkworms was a farming venture everyone should embrace.

He said that he wouldn’t hesitate to invest in mulberry farming, adding that all he needed was help to acquire houses for silk farming and silk machines.

“I have seen it in other countries where farmers have succeeded in raising silkworms. The quick success of the silk farming saw them abandon other farming. From a humble trial and error investment, farmers in Kenya for instance, have now commercialised their activities…we can also do it here,” he said.

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