Sericulture popularly known as ‘silkworm farming’ continues to gain momentum in Rwanda owing to the foreseeable future demands of raw materials to produce high-quality and luxury cloths.
The Rwandan government is also at the forefront in ensuring the development of sericulture in the country in order to diversify and expand its economic base especially in the export sector. With abundant incentives in sericulture including free mulberry cuttings for planting, roofing materials for silkworm rearing houses, silkworm eggs, training of farmers and investor’s offer of Rwf15 per every mulberry tree that a farmer grows, Rwandese have seized the opportunity to venture into the business enabling the sector to grow exponentially.
Pierra Jean a manager at one of the sericulture cooperative in Rwamagina District says that some of the major drivers that have boosted sericulture industry include quality silkworm seed, standard rearing techniques, improved mulberry productivity and capacity building at all levels of the value chain.
There is need however for the substantial investment to support value addition initiatives such as post-harvest processing of silk cocoon and evolution of silk firms and silk cottage industries in order for maximum profit.
Sericulture sector has created employment opportunities and income generation to many rural dwellers in Rwanda. It has also presented a great opportunity for developing countries to produce raw materials for manufactures in developed countries. And hence the need to protect and support the local farmers with research, advanced technology and legislative measures in order to increase silk productivity.