Kigali City Council (KCC) and a local textiles company, UTEXRWA, Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will put in place mechanisms meant to alleviate poverty through silk production.
The three year MoU which is subject for renewal, outlines the process of setting up a silk industry in the City through cooperatives to produce value added finished silk products.
According to the MoU, UTEXRWA will provide training and the necessary support in the three districts that make up Kigali City; Nyarugenge, Gasabo and Kicukiro.
Through these cooperatives, city residents will engage in sericulture by mulberry cultivation, silk worm rearing and cocoon production.
After signing the memorandum, City Mayor Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira said that KCC would mobilize, sensitize and select the appropriate people to participate in training of trainers in the chosen fields.
“We shall be charged with research and dissemination of related information to ensure market for silk worm cocoons in the first phase and subsequently the market for silk finished products to be produced in the cooperatives,” Kacyira said. She promised some technical support to sustain the project by ensuring that the training benefits the beneficiaries.
She added: “We will specifically pay attention to inclusion of the unemployed categories of people in our society especially women and youth cooperatives.”
UTEXRWA Managing Director, Raj Rajendran, said that his company would carry out the Training of Trainers for two months for the selected beneficiaries at a nominal fee.
He emphasized the need to follow up the trainees to ensure that they train others in their respective cooperatives for constant availability of sericulture and silk worm cocoons on the market.
Eight technicians, two each from Nyarugenge and Kicukiro districts and four from Gasabo will train in Hand-loom Proto Type Machine Manufacturing and their training will be offered free of charge.
For the implementation of this MoU, a committee consisting of KCC and UTEXRWA officials will be put in place to follow up day to day activities.