China’s steady decline in silk production has left its competitors with a window of opportunity. Uganda, specifically, researchers say, is in a unique position to take advantage of this opportunity and become one of the world’s leading suppliers.
This was revealed to members of the committee on science, technology and innovation during a recent field visit to sericulture farms in the Bulambuli and Kween districts.
FoodForAfrika.com reports that although China is the world’s leading producer of silk followed by India, silk production in the East-Asian country is on a concerning decline.
And according to Clet Wandui Masiga, principal investigator for sericulture projects in Uganda, this is partly due to China’s shrinking working age population and reduction in farmland brought on by urbanisation.
“Uganda has comparative advantages over many countries due to our arable land. If the silk sub-sector is developed, there is potential to spur village-level processing especially the cottage industry which would offer income to mostly women and the youth,” Masiga said.
However, Masiga noted that the potential can never be achieved if the project continues to have interruptions in funding as is currently the case in the current financial year.
Funding and planned projects
According to the Commercialisation of Sericulture Technologies in Uganda’s annual performance report for the 2021/2022 financial year, silk is the most expensive textile fibre whose unit price is 20 times the price of raw cotton.
The article further explores the need for stable funding in order to avoid interruptions or loss of the already invested resources, the total planned investment for the project for the five financial years, as well as the 24 districts that have already benefitted.
To read more about this global market gap in silk production, visit FoodForAfrika.com.
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